Beloved Bobcat Kirby Has Passed

Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium is deeply saddened to announce the death of Kirby the bobcat. Kirby died peacefully in his sleep under the care of naturalist staff in his enclosure during the morning of March 10, 2022.

At 18 years old, Kirby lived a full and healthy life, far outliving the average lifespan of bobcats in the wild. Kirby was originally rescued from Greenleaf State Park in Oklahoma at 5-weeks old. He and his brother Hoover both suffered with toxoplasmosis as kittens which left Kirby with some vision loss. Kirby was transferred to Bays Mountain Park in 2010 from the Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch in Texas.

Since Kirby was raised in captivity, he was always friendly with staff and even playful at times. He was very vocal with his caretakers, always letting them know how he felt. He loved to meow at feeding time, especially when he smelled some of his favorite foods. Kirby was known to appreciate his solitude, often shying away from large crowds. This made Kirby’s public appearances all the more valuable to those park guests fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of him.

Kirby will be deeply missed by all of the staff and by his many admiring visitors, but we find solace in that his life ended naturally and without pain.

While Kirby’s large personality can never be replaced, the park will begin the search to find a bobcat in need of a new home to live in Kirby’s now vacant enclosure.