'Baby cheetah' dropped off at Orlando fire station

Tiny animal turns out to be bobcat

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man dropped off what he thought was a "baby cheetah" Thursday at an Orlando fire station.

Turns out, though, that the tiny animal is a bobcat.

Firefighters at Station No. 7 said they thought the cute little thing was a kitten and were working to find it a home when they conducted a Google search for "baby cheetah." They realized the kitten had bobcat characteristics, so they sent photos of the animal to the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge and Education Center.

The center's administrative manager, Kelly Verduin, drove to the station and confirmed that the animal was a female bobcat, about 2 weeks old.

The bobcat was taken to the refuge.

Vurduin said refuge employees plan to care for the feline in a way that won't cause her to imprint on humans so she can eventually be released back into the wild.

Back to Nature receives about 3,000 injured or orphaned animals each year, of which only one or two are bobcats.

Fire officials said several pets have been dropped off at the firehouse recently.

For tips on what to do if you see a sick, injured or orphaned animal, click here.

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