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The original item was published from 7/17/2020 4:35:00 PM to 11/1/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: April 8, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Bobcat in Preservation Park


A Bobcat family has been spotted in Preservation Park. With 200+ acres of preserved land, the Park provides for an abundance of local wildlife. Visitors are advised to keep their dogs leashed & use caution. Bobcats typically do not attack people, preferring to hide.  There have been no reported incidents in Williamson County.

Reminder: Hunting is strictly prohibited in any Thompson’s Station Park or Open Space.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency:

"The Bobcat, which is a stealthy hunter aided by keen eyesight, hearing, and a well-developed sense of smell, is the most common and widely distributed wildcat in North America.   It can be found all across Tennessee. 

Description:  A large mammal with long legs, stubby tail, broad face, short snout, and prominent pointed ears that sometimes have tufts.   The short fur is tawny-colored with black spots and streaks.   

Facial fur has black lines and a ruff of fur extending from the ears down to the lower jaw. The backs of the ears are solid black with a central white spot.   Underparts are white with black spots. Upper legs and tail have black barring; the tail tip is black.  They have sharply curved claws that can be retracted.

Similar Species:  The domestic cat is smaller, has a longer tail usually, and is not spotted with black.   Bobcats are often confused with cougars, although cougars are many times larger, longer, and have a very long tail.

Habitat:  Bobcats occur in a variety of habitats, but they prefer heavily forested areas with thick underbrush.  They also occur in timbered swamps; farmland; scrubland; and rocky terrain such as glades, bluffs, and rocky outcrops.   Maternity dens are made of dry leaves and moss and usually located under a fallen tree, in a hollow log, or in a rock shelter.

Diet: The majority of food is small mammals, including rabbits, mice, rats, squirrels, and shrews.  They will also occasionally eat deer, turkey, snakes, domestic cats, and grass.

Breeding information: Mating season begins in December and may continue into summer, but usually peaks in March.   A litter of 1-5 (usually 2-3) kittens are born after a 50-70 day gestation period.   Kittens are born with sharp claws and spotted fur.   

They are able to play outside the den after their eyes open at 9-11 days old.   Weaning occurs at 2 months old, but the kittens will stay with the mother until at least the fall.

Status in Tennessee:  Bobcats are hunted and trapped in the state. They may be abundant in suitable habitats. "

TN Wildlife Resources Agency - Bobcat Webpage
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