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A bobcat lays in some bushes

Meet Abby!

A new bobcat is now calling Wild Florida home! Abby recently joined our Zoo from another facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She’s estimated to be between 8-10 years old.

Abby moved into one of the two sections in our newly renovated bobcat habitat. She’s now neighbors with our longtime zoo resident, 16-year-old bobcat Eko. The habitat features a tunnel system between the two sections, which may be helpful for some introductions! Depending on their comfort levels, Abby and Eko may share the two spaces in the future.

Unlike some of our other animal residents, Abby and Eko are not matched by the AZA’s Species Survival Plan to breed as bobcat populations in their native ranges are stable (and Eko is neutered).

Abby shares a similar background to Eko. Both were formerly kept as pets before eventually being brought to AZA-accredited facilities to live. Although we don’t know the exact circumstances behind Eko and Abby’s status as former pets, we just want to note:

  • It’s illegal to keep animals found in their native range as personal pets in Florida. Personal pet permits are only issued for animals that are captive bred and are obtained from a legal licensed source. Any injured, orphaned, or abandoned animals must be brought to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator for rehabilitation.
  • Before bringing any “exotic” (or domestic, for that matter!) animal into your home as a pet, it’s important to do your research on your future pet, from learning about its diet to creating a suitable habitat to finding a veterinarian that specializes in their care.
  • Make sure your pet comes from a reputable source. The exotic pet trade can be devastating to animals and their wild populations.
  • This may go without saying if you’ve ever seen Eko unfortunately catch an unsuspecting wild snake or bird – bobcats are simply not meant for most homes.

Our Zoo plans to eventually expand the bobcat habitat further, and we hope to share more about this expansion soon!

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.