OMG, look at those eyes! Even if you are a Griz fan, you have to admit that the picture above is quite possibly one of the cutest things ever. He's a baby bobcat named Doug, who has found his new forever home at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary in Red Lodge.

Photo provided by Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

The young bobcat was exposed to human contact.

It's unclear where Doug was born or how he was found, but he arrived at the Montana WILD Wildlife Center in Helena when he was just three weeks old. Operated by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the center provides rehabilitation services for wild animals, as well as public education and outreach services. A press release noted,

Wild cats this young imprint on humans very easily and this kitten was no exception. Since wild cats are unpredictable and have different needs than domestic cats, they make poor pets. Since he’s imprinted on people, this kitten can’t be released into the wild.

Doug was then donated from Montana FW&P to the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. A new 2021 law, HB 305, greatly simplifies the transfer of wild animals to accredited sanctuaries. The juvenile bobcat is now under a mandatory 30-day quarantine at the Red Lodge facility.

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Photo provided by Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

You can't see him in person... yet.

After Doug is done with quarantine, it may still be a while before you can meet him at the sanctuary. Staff must complete a carefully monitored introduction process with the other male bobcat (Bob) at Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. YWS members will get the first opportunity to meet the wild kitty, before the general public.

Photo provided by Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Like we need another reason to visit Red Lodge.

We usually take the kids to the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary every year (although we missed it this summer). They love seeing the bears and other animals, up-close and personal. The facility is open nearly all year and they just switched to winter hours, 10 am to 4 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sundays. It is closed to the public in January and February, except for scheduled education events and tours.

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