A large bobcat has been spotted within the past year by three different people at three different times. It must be the same one because all three agree that it's the largest bobcat they've ever seen. Each person has described its size comparing it to a medium sized dog - labrador retriever type, 40+lbs. It has been observed in the picnic area, the west alkali meadow and on the Grapevine Trail. 

Two young bobcats were observed that morning.Young bobcat at the caretker site, Sept. 2001Here are two images taken by Al Hanan, the caretaker, the morning of September 30, 2001, from his RV window. As you can see, there were two young bobcats investigating the area. Al and Frances Hanan, the caretakers, suppose the parents were not far from the cubs and the feline family were there because the pond may be their only source of water this time of year. They have observed the parents several times this summer, but this was their first glimpse of the youngsters. Frances knows that the cottontail rabbit population has decreased lately, now she has a pretty good idea why!

This is not an image of the bobcat the resides at KOP, its just a representation.

Bobcats (Felis rufus) are fierce cats that live in forests, swamps, mountains, prairie, and deserts in much of North America. Bobcats are generally nocturnal (most active at night), but have peaks of activity at dawn and dusk. They spend the day in their den (a cave, hollow log or rock crevice). They are excellent climbers and swimmers. Bobcats have a life span of 10-14 years. The bobcats and the lynx are closely related. 

The Bobcat has powerful jaws and long, pointed canine teeth. It has sharp, retractable claws, big ears, and a spotted coat. Many bobcats have long tufts of hair at the tip of the ears that improve the cat's hearing. The brown eyes have circular pupils. These graceful cats are from 24 to 40 inches long (including the tail). The stubby tail is only 4 to 7 inches long, and looks as though it was cut off (or bobbed). This is what this cat is named for. 

Bobcats are carnivores (meat-eaters). These fast, solitary hunters eat small mammals (like rabbits, hares, rodents, foxes, and weasels), birds, fish, and eggs. Bobcats stalk their prey, and then pounce onto it. They can leap up to 10 feet. They can often kill their prey in one powerful bite. 

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