LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - The life-or-death search is on for an orphaned baby bobcat. His or her mother was killed by a car on Harden Boulevard in Lakeland about two weeks ago.
"He still needs to nurse off his mom," said SPCA of Florida trapper Bruce Nance. "He may be able to find food on his own, but if we don't catch him soon, his chances are going down and down."
Nance says the little guy could easily become a bobcat's dinner or get hit by car like his mom.
Nance has set 14 traps in the area where he has been showing up, close to where his mother was killed.
The other night, the head of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Carol Baskins, and her daughter, went out looking for him armed with nets.
"She had a net right over there, but because the grass was so high and the brush was so thick, she couldn't get the net all the way down to the ground and the kitten slid out from underneath the rim of the net," Baskins said.
Then déjà vu. The same exact scenario played out a second time.
"It is painful to know how close we got and still missed it," said Baskins.
People have taken photos and video of the bobcat, but he is still on the run. Vikki O'Neal was driving along Harden when she spotted him. She quickly pulled out her phone and shot video.
"I think it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Neal said in a Skype interview with FOX 13. "I have always been an animal lover."
If you see the bobcat, immediately call Big Cat Rescue in Tampa at (813) 493-4564. Anyone who wants to print out and distribute flyers within the 33803 area code can click here.