Cleveland, we have a new bobcat.
This spring, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History introduced its newest resident to the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden: a male northern bobcat with major camera-ready skills. Watch out Bella Hadid, Diego might just be the up-and-coming model of this generation.
The one-year-old fuzzball arrived in March from a private donor and according to the press release issued by CMNH earlier this week, is adapting well to his new home.
Born sharing the same month as his arrival date, the young Diego came into the world on March 15, 2022. He currently weighs 11 pounds but is expected to reach the average weight of an adult male bobcat at approximately 15 to 30 pounds.
Diego spent his first 30 days in quarantine (a routine practice for new arrivals), in which time he became accustomed to his caregivers, diet and surroundings, as well as new training practices, such as shifting between different enclosures when necessary. To help maintain a successful acclimation process, the museum’s team of wildlife specialists works to ensure everything operates as smoothly as possible.
“We are taking the process slowly and steadily and following Diego’s cues,” says Director of Wildlife Jim Nemet. “Diego is a smart and adaptable youngster with a keen curiosity. Our guests will surely enjoy watching his playfulness as he continues to develop and learn in his new surroundings.”
Not only is the friendly mammal a bucket of fun, he is noted for his inquisitive, active and very focused nature on wildlife specialists who provide his daily care … particularly around mealtime. What does a healthy bobcat need to continue his mental and physical growth? The wildlife specialists prepare specially formulated feline chow, but of course, the occasional treats make their way into his diet as well.
In the future, Diego will be introduced to the museum’s senior pair of bobcats, Bob and Bitty, who have lived in the Perkins Wildlife Center since their own arrivals as babies in 2002. Visual introductions from separate habitats will be step one in this process in order for them to establish a positive sense for each other. According to the bobcats’ wildlife specialists, the animals’ comfort levels and behaviors will dictate the pace as they progress further into physical meetings. If all goes well, the end goal will be for all three bobcats to share an outdoor exhibit space in Perkins, where guests can have an opportunity to say hello to them regularly.
“The Perkins Wildlife Center is a place where we connect our guests to nature, share stories about the animals in our care and build a greater appreciation for wildlife conservation in Ohio,” says Nemet. “As invaluable ambassadors for their wild counterparts, Diego, Bitty and Bob help us inspire a passion for the natural world.”