Met Any Bobcats Lately? Illinois’ Population Is Growing
For nearly a week now, bobcats have been a pretty hot topic thanks to a video from a North Carolina home's surveillance camera that went absolutely viral.
If you haven't seen this yet, just imagine it happening in your Rockford area driveway:
This is the part where I should say "Stop imagining, this could happen to you!" But I won't. Even though Illinois' bobcat numbers are definitely on the rise, your chances of being attacked by a rabid bobcat in your driveway are still pretty remote. However, you might wish to remember this guy's body-slam technique just in case.
The Illinois Bobcat Foundation says that The American bobcat, which is the only native wild cat in Illinois, was once listed as a threatened species. It was first protected in 1972, but the designation was removed in 1999. After being removed from the protected list, bobcat hunting/trapping legislation allowed the first season in over 40 years to begin in 2016.
So, as you might imagine, the bobcat population here in Illinois is on the rise. We have 102 counties here in Illinois, and the Illinois Bobcat Foundation estimates that there are over 5,000 bobcats roaming about in 99 of those counties.
Bobcats, possibly a mother and her kittens, were spotted on a game camera in a Will County forest preserve back in October, and again in recent weeks in another Will County preserve. Officials said that marks two sightings in just six months.
Over the last 3 years, there have been multiple sightings throughout the Chicago suburbs and Southern Wisconsin, so I've got to figure that at least one of us in the Rockford area is going to have a "is that a bobcat?" moment at some point in the near future.