One of the few lucky ones

For the last 10 recorded years, 20,264 bobcat have been reported trapped and killed in Montana. Some get away by tearing off their numbed paw caught in a trap. With bobcat pelt prices in the $500 each range, highly unlikely any are ever released. As Montana life long trapper, Larry Rose, expressed in a LTE, trappers poach bobcats rather easily in Montana. Here someone witnessed the hardships and beauty of being a bobcat.

Melissa Groo, a nature photographer and story teller, visits places “on the edge of wildness, sits quietly and observes.” She was rewarded on this day, capturing the “spirit and essence” of this bobcat. You can follow this sequence of events, one image posted each day this week, and get a glimpse into the biology and behavior of this wild cat, a master of survival. Here is Melissa’s story:

I was driving along a rural road in NE Pennsylvania, and saw what I at first thought was a housecat sitting out in a field. I took a closer look and noticed its ear tufts, and realized it was a bobcat. I sat and watched it as it got up and I realized that it only had half a front leg. It was undisturbed by my presence (in my car), and it began to stalk prey. Suddenly it leaped up into the air with a spectacular arc, and landed on its catch. It ate what looked like a vole, on the spot. It then walked away slowly, intent on its next catch. It was obvious that its injury had healed over, and that it had adapted to life with this handicap. I was inspired by its resilience, will to live, and remarkable agility. One of the few lucky ones.

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