By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
No one likes the bad news. Earlier this week, Brit Spaugh Zoo staff in Great Bend announced the death of Mrs. B, a bald eagle that spent the last 44 years of her life at the zoo. But Zoo Curator Ashley Burdick saved some good news for her appearance on KVGB 1590 AM/95.5 FM's "City Edition" program Wednesday. A pair of new animals were recently acquired from Milford Nature Center in Junction City.
"We have two female bobcats that will go out on exhibit," Burdick said. "Their names are Hope and Amora. They are seven and 14. They needed a new home, essentially. They were going to be phasing out the bobcats, so they needed a place to go."
Bobcats can be found in nature all around Kansas, including Barton County. The cats live approximately seven years in the wild but can go as long as 25 years in captivity. At 15-35 pounds, bobcats are not the most menacing of predators, but they are well-suited for life in Kansas.
"They're like a giant housecat essentially, but they have claws, teeth, all that," said Burdick. "They definitely have their own personalities. They do really well in our winters, and they seem to manage summers fine."
Burdick said most of the exhibits at the zoo are full at the moment, and staff is also trying to improve existing exhibits before bringing in more big animals. The new cougar exhibit was finished at the end of last year. Hope and Amora will move into their exhibit once some benches and climbing toys are installed.