Franklin County

Bobcat kitten and juvenile bald eagle take up residence at Salato Wildlife Education Center

A female bobcat kitten played in the display enclosure at Salato Wildlife Center in Frankfort.
A female bobcat kitten played in the display enclosure at Salato Wildlife Center in Frankfort. Herald-Leader

FRANKFORT — Two new residents — a bobcat kitten and a juvenile bald eagle — are now on display at Salato Wildlife Education Center.

The female kitten is about 5 months old and came from a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Kentucky. She succeeds an adult female that was in poor health and died some months ago, said Geoff Roberts, conservation educator at Salato.

The youngster is "still very much a kitten, growing fast, but she's pretty adorable," Roberts said. "She has a lot of energy now."

Salato also has an adult male bobcat, and the aim is to have the two on exhibit together when the kitten becomes an adult.

Bobcats are more abundant in the eastern and western parts of the state than in Central Kentucky.

"A lot of people assume that because they never see them that their numbers are very low, but that's not the case," Roberts said. "They're nocturnal and they're very anti-social. They don't like to be around people, so they're very skittish and shy."

The only time to see the kitten is from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. That's because a Salato staff member must accompany her in the enclosure to ensure her safety.

The 3-year-old bald eagle came from Ironside Bird Rescue, a rehabilitation facility in Cody, Wyo. It's been on display for about two months.

"He had a wing fracture that they attempted to repair with surgery but were unsuccessful," Roberts said. "So he was deemed permanently non-releasable. He can't fly."

It's unclear how the wing fracture happened. "Some folks just found him walking around in a pasture," Roberts said.

The eagle won't have a solid white head and tail until he is 5 years old.

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