Blake Garrison, Commodities Coordinator, spotted a bobcat yesterday (July 18, 2022) afternoon and was able to take a few quick photos of the animal.
Bobcats live throughout Kansas with their concentration being highest the southeast part of the state. It is uncommon to see one, especially during the day, as they are nocturnal hunters and do their best to keep under cover.
According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks, bobcats are usually only a leap away from cover, and closely associate with shrubby edges of riparian woodlands and field borders, timber, rocky ledges or outcroppings, ravines, and other brushy or generally broken habitat types. Their spotted fur provides excellent camouflage in these habitats, and their willingness to crouch and hide rather than to bolt across open spaces aids in their elusiveness.
Bobcats can grow to be about 30 pounds and are carnivores. Cottontail rabbits are usually their primary food source, but cotton rats, wood rats, and jackrabbits are also preyed upon when cottontails are scarce. Bobcats opportunistically take smaller rodents, squirrels, and birds.
While it is not common for bobcats to bother domestic animals, it is possible that one could target a pet if their usual food sources become scarce. They are skittish animals and can be easily frightened and a few simple precautions will usually keep them away from pets.
- Take steps to ensure you are not attracting predators to your yard – clean up brushy areas or woodpiles and remove any food sources.
- Clear any excess vegetation to remove secluded hiding spots.
- Do not allow cats to roam free outdoors.
- Avoid bushy areas or paths near abandoned properties.
- Never encourage or allow your pet to interact or “play” with wildlife.
- Make sure your fence is in good repair.
- Do not leave pets unattended outdoors.
- Remove food sources, i.e. fallen fruit, food refuse, pet food.
Bobcats are unlikely to attack humans. They prefer to go after prey that is smaller than them and will almost always run away if they are confronted. Do not attempt to approach one if you are near because that could initiate a fight or flight response. Give them plenty of room and they will do their best to get away from you.
If you encounter a bobcat or any animal that is acting aggressively or oddly at all, it’s best to keep your distance and contact the Tribal Police at 785-966-3024.