Bears in Western North Carolina are frequent visitors at trash cans and backyard bird feeders, but the chance bobcat sighting is much, much less common. Luckily there’s the Game Cam, sponsored by the Friends of DuPont Forest, which posts photographic captures of the native feline and other critters — a safe way to connect for both human and animal. A recent springtime snap received a storm of “likes” and shares on Facebook; many of the bobcat shots are remarkable for a startling sense of intimacy, as when the “model” seems to be looking directly into the lens. “The cameras are, as far as I know, totally silent — but bobcats and deer and bear often spot them right away,” says Alan Cameron, a research volunteer with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and a frequent presenter.
“Bobcats are a lot more plentiful in this area than most people believe,” Cameron tells Bold Life. “Population densities in this area are probably about one per every half square mile.”
However, these fierce carnivores, who feast mainly on rabbits “but could bring down a grown deer,” says Cameron, “are very secretive and wary.
“My game cameras aside, I have seen a total of one bobcat [in person] in the DuPont State Recreational Forest in 16 years.”
For more information about programs at DuPont State Forest, see dupontforest.com.