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Bobcat hit by car is saved by passerby, helped by rescue groups

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The story of a bobcat injured after being hit by a car had a happy ending on Friday when, after months of care and rehabilitation, he was released back into the wild. The bobcat was released in San Ramon by rescuers from the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley and Felidae Conservation Fund.

The bobcat has a lot of people to thank for being alive and well today, including the California woman who first saw the injured animal and stopped to help. Olga Sylko was on her way to work one night in May when she saw the bobcat in the road.

Concerned for the animal, Sylko made a u-turn on Highway 84 in Sunol and drove up behind the cat. She noticed he was still alive.

Seeing a truck coming towards her and the bobcat, Sylko, who is deaf, waved a towel at the driver. The truck driver drove past, according to Sylko, narrowly missing the bobcat. So Sylko knew she had to do something, and fast.

Bravely, Sylko covered the bobcat with the towel she was holding, and picked up the cat. He was heavy. She put him in the trunk of her car.

Driving to the local animal shelter, Sylko found it closed. So she went to work with the bobcat still in the trunk of her car, and from there she called the police.

“When the police arrived,” Sylko writes in a Facebook post, “the two reporting officers were incredulous that a Bobcat (was) in the trunk of car. The police thought a domestic cat was in (the) trunk.”

When police opened the trunk, the bobcat hissed at them. Realizing it was a wild animal, the police would not take him. Instead, one of Sylko’s co-workers helped bring the bobcat to a local veterinary emergency clinic, where he received overnight care. The next day, he was transported to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.

According to the veterinarian, the young bobcat suffered from head trauma and a fractured left leg. Dr. Rachel Boltz of Adobe Animal Hospital donated her services to treat the leg fracture.

Until his release on Friday, the bobcat was going through rehabilitation at the Wildlife Center, as they prepared him for survival in the wild. He was also given an ear tag by Felidae Conservation, which they hope to use to track the young bobcat's movements.

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