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VOTE to name New Bobcat

VOTE to name New Bobcat at Virginia Living Museum

Newport News, Va. (September 14, 2020) – The Virginia Living Museum is asking the community to help name their new juvenile bobcat. The Museum began soliciting name suggestions from the public on September 8, 2020 through social media. Those suggestions will be narrowed down to the most popular names and official voting will begin on Monday, September 21, 2020. Voting polls will take place on the Museum’s official Facebook and Instagram accounts and through the Museum’s website  The winning name will be announced on October 3, 2020 when the young bobcat will join the Outdoor Boardwalk Trail at the Museum.

Bobcat History

In the fall of 2019 a veterinarian from southern Virginia contacted the Museum regarding a non-releasable, orphaned, male bobcat kitten. This kitten had been found on the side of the road near his mother who had been killed after being struck by a car. The kitten survived but sustained numerous injuries requiring veterinary care, including a fractured right forelimb. Following his recovery, the VLM was asked to provide a home for the kitten and in October of 2019 this young, rambunctious boy came home to the Virginia Living Museum.

Unfortunately, as the young kitten matured he developed complications with his previously fractured right forelimb, resulting in pain and progressive lameness. Following discussions between Dr. Kelsey Hayden, the lead veterinarian at the Museum, and numerous resources including other Association of Zoos and Aquariums veterinarians in zoological facilities and veterinary surgeons, the difficult decision was made to pursue a right forelimb amputation. This surgery was performed to provide this young, lively kitten with the best chance at a long, pain-free life. Dr. Hayden and Pamela Graves, a volunteer licensed veterinary technician, performed the kitten’s amputation surgery at the Museum in August of 2020. The dedication of the VLM family of staff and volunteers, which included 24/7 monitoring, coupled with the resilience and determination of this young kitten has produced a healthy, vibrant young bobcat.

 “This little guy has overcome so many challenges in his life; he really is a testament to the strength and beauty of his species. We are all so excited to be able to watch him continue to grow and flourish at the museum.” – Dr. Kelsey Hayden

The Museum’s mission is to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. They excitedly welcome community members to visit and enjoy this new addition as well as celebrate the Museum’s veteran bobcat, named Cocoa, who will remain on grounds but off public view. For over 15 years Cocoa the bobcat has delighted visitors as they search the outdoor natural exhibit to locate the elusive cat. The Museum encourages stories and good wishes to celebrate Cocoa as an amazing animal ambassador.

The community can also expect to see Special Tours added (pending COVID-19 guidelines) and a Bobcat Cam added to the Museum’s video streaming cameras.


The Virginia Living Museum is open daily from 9 am- 5pm located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, I-64, exit 258A. For more information visit or call 757-595-1900. You can also find the Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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