Bobcat at wildlife exhibit in Wichita passes away

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A beloved bobcat at the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit in Wichita has died. 

City officials said Bobby the Bobcat died Saturday, February 16 The exhibit in Central Riverside Park acquired Bobby after a car accident in south Wichita claimed his mother's life more than 20 years ago. 

"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," said David McGuire, superintendent of park maintenance and forestry. 

The bobcat was bottle fed until approximately two months old. Storrie had hoped to release him back into the wild, but Bobby had already imprinted on her. He was transferred to the exhibit at four months old. 

"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."

Bobcats generally live for seven years in the wild, "but Bobby lived for over 21 years," McGuire said.

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. The exhibit’s focus shifted in the 1980s  to native Kansas animals. 

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