Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are well-known inhabitants of our woods! These cats are usually very secretive but, every once in a while, they are spotted walking openly on our paved trails where people can see them. Unlike most mammals, bobcats are still active despite the increasingly colder days. During fall and winter, they become more diurnal as their prey (rabbits and rodents, mainly) is more active at daylight during those seasons. So, it is possible that more bobcats are going to be seen in the next coming weeks and months. Bobcats, in general, are not aggressive species. It is incredibly rare for bobcats to present danger to people. Nevertheless, here are some things you should know if you happen to encounter a bobcat:
- Stay within a reasonable distance of the bobcat. If you start getting too close to it, it might think you present a threat. Naturally, it would want to defend itself.
- If the bobcat starts to walk toward you, which is incredibly rare, slowly start backing away. It is important that you do not run as this might scare the bobcat.
- Do not touch or attempt to feed the bobcat. Bobcats are wild animals and you always want to minimize opportunities for them to bite. As it is the case with most wild mammals, wild bobcats may be rabid at times. Feeding any wild animal can cause harm to the animal, and there are plenty of food resources in River Legacy Park.
- If a bobcat decides to walk by you, as long as you do not try to kick it or make sudden movements, the bobcat will just continue on its way.
- Always have your pets on a controlled leash. The last thing you want is any altercation between a wild bobcat and your dog.
- Be sure to take a picture and/or video of your bobcat encounter from a safe distance!
Seeing bobcats is a neat experience and if you find yourself in that situation and, as long as you follow these precautions, you will be able to enjoy being in the presence of these wonderful cats!
Bobcat (Lynx rufus) seen near the entrance of River Legacy Living Science Center last Saturday, November 10th, 2018!