The Elusive Bobcat

Here at Ohio University, the word “bobcat” is everywhere. However, not many students or staff ever see a real bobcat in their years spent at OU. Why not? The bobcat is a shy animal. It is the most common wildcat in North America, yet it is rarely seen due to its smaller size (between 10 and 30 pounds, about twice the size of a common house cat), and its elusive nature.

Bobcat_kitten

Females give birth to one to six kittens each spring. They stay with their mother for almost a year where they learn to hunt. Image from wildlifehotline.com

The spots and patterns on the bobcat’s coat also help it blend in with its habitat – from dense forests to mountain ranges to semi-desert brush land. It’s range is the largest of any North American wildcat. Bobcats live throughout North America except for parts of the mid-west. This is due to the trapping and fur industry in the 1900’s.

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Image from fullwallpaper.tk.

Ohio University’s mascot, Rufus, was named after the scientific name for the bobcat, Lynx Rufus. A bobcat makes a good mascot: although they are small, bobcats are fierce and can take down large prey such as deer and domestic sheep or hogs. The stalk their prey, then spring upon them by jumping as far as 10 feet!

rufus-brutus-p1

Rufus stalking and pouncing on a much larger prey.

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