Bobcat at High Desert Museum gets a name
A bobcat who arrived at the High Desert Museum in Bend as a small kitten is now a full-grown cat and has been named Timber.
The bobcat was brought to the museum just over a year ago. He’d been found in the Portland area separated from his mother. State wildlife officials first tried to return him to where he was found but the kitten kept gravitating toward people.
Timber got his name after the museum held a raffle during its annual gala this summer. The raffle winner got to name him.
“Timber is undoubtedly now a visitor favorite at the Museum,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw in a press release. “While bobcats are well-established in the High Desert, it’s rare to see one, especially so close. So Timber presents a unique opportunity for visitors to connect with an important predator of the High Desert.”
Timber can be seen occasionally as part of the Museum’s atrium habitat across from the permanent Spirit of the West exhibition. Timber alternates in the space with Gert the gray fox.
“Timber is smart and took quickly to training and working with wildlife staff,” said Curator of Wildlife Jon Nelson. “He also enjoys visitors and at times can be seen playing with people through the viewing glass of his habitat.”
In the wild, bobcats eat a wide range of prey including birds and small mammals. Timber enjoys meals of rats, mice, rabbit, quail and other whole-animal foods at the Museum, Nelson says.
The High Desert Museum cares for more than 120 animals, from otters to raptors.
The majority of animals are non-releasable, either due to injuries or because they became too familiar with humans.
They serve as ambassadors to educate the public about conservation.