Monty, a bobcat who called Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau home, has died.
The bobcat came to the sanctuary in 2013 from Springwater Park after the facility closed. He was born in 2002.
Monty was a house pet, according to Desiree Tillie, Volunteer Tour Coordinator, and was declawed. He was seized when he was four by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry but could not be released back into the wild because of how attached he had become to humans. “What happens with wild animals when people have them as pets is that once they reach sexual maturity they become more aggressive and unpredictable with their behaviour,” she explains, adding they usually end up at places like the sanctuary.
Tillie says at 21 years old not only was Monty one of the sanctuary’s oldest permanent residents but he was also significantly older than most bobcats that live in the wild. She says most wild bobcats only live to be around seven.
She explains Monty was able to live longer because of the care he received at the sanctuary. “But they’re not free and wild as they should be,” she adds.
Since Monty couldn’t be released back into the wild, he served as an educational ambassador for the sanctuary. “We talk about every single one of our animals,” says Tillie. “We discuss their stories and how we can co-exist with them.”
Bobcats, she continues, are nocturnal and shy of humans.
Shonnie, a female bobcat rescued from a roadside zoo, is the only other bobcat at the sanctuary.
***With files from Mathew Reisler