The following clip shows an adult Bobcat, Felis rufus, ambling down the path shadowed by a kitten. And boy-o-boy is that one cute (and fierce) kitten! To our great benefit and viewing pleasure, the baby Bobcat pauses in front of the camera and roots around a bit before trotting off to catch up with mama.
It's encouraging to see the comeback of Bobcats in Ohio and adjacent regions. In 2011, there were 136 verified sightings in Ohio - an increase of 30 over 2010. It's thought that these little cats - a big male might weigh 40 lbs. - had become extirpated in Ohio by 1850 - victims of persecution and habitat loss. By the 1960's, a few sightings were being reported, and the number of documented observations very slowly but steadily has grown ever since. Today, there are certainly hundreds of Bobcats - maybe even 1,000+ - roaming the hills of southern and eastern Ohio, and there are even occasional sightings outside of the hill country.
Thanks to Laura and David for allowing me to share their wonderful video work. I'll soon post another of their videos, and believe it or not, this one is even cooler than these Bobcats. It shows, in wonderful clarity, a family unit of River Otters and if you thought that baby Bobcat was cool, wait until you see a pack of otters playing right in front of the camera lens!