We typically write articles about what people are inquiring about most at the time of publication. In this article we want to revisit the topic of bobcats. They live among us in Brevard County and although bobcats are not classified as pests, they do create some concern among residents of our county.
Seven years ago we wrote an article about Bobcats being spotted in Vero Beach. Sightings are uncommon in Brevard County, especially in more natural habitats such as beaches or parks. If you see a bobcat here in Florida then what you are seeing is the Florida bobcat aka the Florida lynx or wildcat. These are one of two big cat species you will find in Florida. If you guessed that the other is the Florida Panther kudos to you.
Florida bobcats are about 2-4 feet in length and weigh between 15-25 lbs on average but larger ones have been seen. The male is typically larger than the female. If offspring are present the parents may act more aggressively so do not approach them. There are between 750,000 – 1,250,000 Florida bobcats in the wild.
In Brevard County they have been spotted in parks in Palm Bay, at Beaches and in the parks and undeveloped land in Melbourne, Rockledge, Viera and Titusville. One reason it is important to walk with your dog on a leash is that a bobcat will attack if it feels threatened. And even if your dog only get scratches, it may have to endure a series of painful rabies shots. A 6 foot leash is encourages and in parks is mandatory.
The Florida bobcat feeds on almost any prey smaller than itself. This includes, but is not limited to rabbits, mice, rats, birds, groundhogs, amphibians, reptiles and even stray housecats. There are only a small handful of predators higher than them on the food chain. These are alligators, Burmese pythons and the aforementioned Florida panther.
Image credit: Sciencing.com