Blandford Nature Center has welcomed new wildlife ambassadors to the Wildlife Trail – two young sibling bobcats. This brother and sister pair need names, and the community is being called on for help as part of a fundraiser.
Blandford will be hosting a virtual naming contest for the bobcat siblings from Thursday, December 2nd to Tuesday, December 14th. Participants will be able to choose from four name combinations: Lil and Phil, Leia and Luke, Artemis and Apollo, and Lilo and Stitch. Every $5 donated counts as one vote toward the name combination of your choice (i.e., $10 equals 2 votes). Votes can be made online at www.blandfordnaturecenter.org, or in-person at Blandford Nature Center located at 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
Community members are encouraged to vote as many times as they want and stay up to date on the leading name combination throughout the contest by following Blandford Nature Center on Facebook and Instagram. Blandford is excited to be offering everyone who votes one entry in a raffle to win a gift package valued at $95. This gift package includes one complimentary Family Membership ($70 value, one year duration) and a Gift Certificate to the Blandford Gift Shop ($25 value).
The naming contest is a fundraiser and all proceeds will support the care of these bobcats and Blandford’s 38 other Wildlife Ambassadors. “While we understand that not everyone will be able to donate, we hope you will consider making a contribution to help us welcome these two young bobcats to Blandford. All donations received from the naming contest will help ensure that these young bobcats will thrive in their new home,” shared Jess Bitting, Director of Development and Communications.
The bobcat kittens were found in Hart, Michigan after their mother was hit by a car and killed this spring. They were brought to Kelly’s Westshore Animal Friends where a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator determined that they would not be able to survive in the wild and they would need to find a permanent home. Blandford has had an empty outdoor enclosure since the passing of Bob the bobcat in August of 2020, and after connecting with the rescue, this enclosure became a new home for these siblings.
“It’s been a little over a year since our bobcat, Bob, passed away and walking by his empty enclosure always made me miss having a Bobcat Wildlife Ambassador,” said Wildlife Manager, Lori Lomoro. “I am excited to have these two using that enclosure now, and I can’t wait to hear about the experiences students and guests will enjoy while visiting and learning about these two beautiful animals.”
Community Members can visit the bobcats on the Wildlife Trail during Blandford’s open hours Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm.