On Feb. 16, longtime Kansas Wildlife Exhibit (KWE) inhabitant, Bobby the Bobcat, passed away. The KWE acquired Bobby after a car accident claimed his mother in south Wichita. Witnesses to the accident noticed something in the mother’s mouth, which turned out to be a one-week-old bobcat. Kansas Wildlife and Parks was notified and the baby bobcat was taken to the KWE’s animal caretaker, Connie Storrie.
Bobby was bottle fed until he was weaned at approximately two months old. At that time, Storrie hoped to release him back into the wild, but he had already imprinted on her. At four months, he was transferred from her home to the KWE, which was his home until his passing this month. In the wild, bobcats generally live seven years, but Bobby lived for over 21 years.
During his lifetime, Bobby was a friend to the KWE staff, volunteers, as well as to the general public who came to visit him on a regular basis. He will truly be missed as one of the favorite animals at the exhibit.
The Kansas Wildlife Exhibit has been a mainstay of Central Riverside Park since the early 1900s, serving as the City’s zoo until the Sedgwick County Zoo was opened in 1974. As a result, in the mid-1980s, the exhibit’s focus shifted to native Kansas animals. Among the current collection are a skunk, various birds and Chappa the beaver.