Missing Blandford Nature Center bobcat found in Grand Rapids

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A bobcat was found Sunday morning in a live trap near Blandford Nature Center two days after Blandford reported a bobcat missing from its enclosure. Blandford has since confirmed that the found bobcat is Apollo.

Don Vander Meulen was the man that caught Apollo. He reports seeing a bobcat on Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. close to his property, about two days before Blandford reported the bobcat missing, leading him to think that it was a wild bobcat.

After Vander Meulen saw the facebook post made by Blandford staff about Apollo’s escape, even though the nature center advised against capturing the animal, he set out a live trap on his property that night and baited it with a can of tuna. His house is 300-400 yards from Blandford’s land, by his own estimate.

On Sunday morning, he noticed a bobcat in the trap and reached out to the Grand Rapids Police Department, as directed by Blandford staff in their post. Soon after, Apollo was taken back to Blandford.

The bobcat is going to be examined by a veterinarian this afternoon, but appears to be in good health. The enclosure has been reinforced since the escape.

“Through the initial checkup, he looks great,” Blandford Nature Center President & CEO Jack Woller said. “Our resources and our attention today has been getting him the vet care and checkup that he needs to make sure that he is safe from his adventure and that he will continue to thrive.”

Woller said they were worried about Apollo’s safety. While bobcats have what it takes to survive in the wilderness, Apollo and his sister Artemis never got that chance after their mother was hit and killed by a car this Spring. 

“The age that he was when his mother was killed, he was still a nursing kitten, he did not have the appropriate time to have the survival skills needed to be a wild cat,” Woller said.

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