DALLAS, Pa. (CBS) – A baby bobcat received a second chance at life in the wilderness of the Poconos.

The 7-week-old female bobcat kitten was discovered this past spring by a couple hiking in the woods in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County. The cat was weak and unable to walk, and no adult female could be found nearby.

When the situation remained the same the following day, the bobcat was picked up and taken to the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Monroe County for medical care. Officials believed the kitten’s mother may have died – either by being hit by a car, from disease or from other causes.

Under the care of the Pocono rehab center’s staff, the young bobcat went from 1.5 pounds to a healthy 14 and was deemed ready for release into the wild. The bobcat was tranquilized and transported in a pet carrier to a remote section of State Game Land 186 in Monroe County, where she was then released.

“The habitat there makes it an ideal release site,” said Game Commission Northeast Region Biologist Kevin Wenner. “It provides plenty of food and cover to meet the animal’s needs. The hunting and other survival behaviors of bobcats are largely instinctive, and this cat has a good chance to make it.”

Bobcats are Pennsylvania’s only feline predator and feed on a variety of small animals including mice, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and rabbits. They are highly secretive in nature and mostly nocturnal.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE