When the Placer County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an animal found in a local gas station, it was no rodent or common pest.
Workers at the Gas and Shop on Lincoln Way in Auburn found a baby bobcat that had run through the front door, apparently seeking food and water, according to a Sheriff’s Office post on Facebook.
The bobcat was caught Thursday by animal control and brought to a wildlife rescue, where it died Friday morning, the updated post says.
The cat was found underneath a cooler, according to the post. Deputy Steve Morrill arrived at the store Thursday and spoke to store manager Joshua Sweat, who took photos of the bobcat sitting on boxes and among water bottles. The Facebook post described the animal as “thin and desperate for food.”
The same cat was spotted Wednesday on Lincoln Way near a dumpster, with no mother bobcat nearby.
The Sheriff’s Office coordinated with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which advised sending the animal to Gold Country Wildlife Rescue for rehabilitation. Placer County Animal Control helped catch the bobcat – seen in a video posted by the Sheriff’s Office resting on a towel within a cage – and transport it to the rescue.
Updating the Facebook post 2 p.m. Friday after receiving dozens of comments, the Sheriff’s Office reported the bobcat had died that morning, according to GCWR founder Sallysue Stein.
“It was very thin, very dehydrated and we suspect it was a victim of secondary poisoning due to rodenticides. Its mom could have eaten poisoned rats or it could have. We urge everyone to never use rodenticides,” Stein commented on Facebook.
Stein also posted a link to an article recommending alternatives to rat poison.
GCWR is a volunteer nonprofit that assists and rehabilitates injured or orphaned wild animals. The rescue is located in Auburn and is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day.
The organization relies completely on public donations, according to its website.
GCWR recently received a donation of appreciated stock worth about $500,000 from an anonymous couple, the Auburn Journal reported Monday. However, GCWR receives only $20,000 per year of the fund, which is managed by the Placer Community Foundation, while its annual budget is $250,000.