Lions for me have been a sign of pure strength and survival. As I grew up, and to this day, I've watched more lion documentaries then I could possibly recount. These cats represent to me what it means to overcome authority and forever take hold of the oppurtunities given to you. Photographing and recording these cats in the wild, and finding them for the first time on my own, was an experience that I will never forget. Thinking back at the moment when I realized what I have come across, and was able to take part in, placed my mind at a standstill. I finally relaxed to the point of true humility and realized what photography was all about!!! Photographing a subject that has amazed me for a lifetime, and one that I traveled so far to see, gave me new insight in how to photograph a scene to show what I'm feeling at the time of the encounter. Finding the things that inspire me the most has been the greatest and most positive development in my photography. Traveling has always made me want to travel more.
The bobcat's (Lynx rufus) territory encompasses a wide range; from Southern Canada to Central Mexico, and consists of 12 recognized subspecies. Being the widest spread wild cat of the America's, the bobcat is an extremely adaptable predator for all the environments it inhabits. Roughly averaging twice the size of a domestic house cat, these felines are very powerful and have been reported to get much larger then their average size. The larger cats are found in the Northern part of their range and the smaller ones found in the Southeast. These cats fluctuate in size considerably depending on food availability and are able go weeks without a meal.
Bobcats prey on all sorts of game and are able to take on animals much larger than themselves. Often this cat will hunt larger prey from a perch and pounce on an animal from above, finishing its victim with a typical suffocating bite to the neck. It will eat what it can at the time of the kill and will then cache the remains, in common cat fashion, to feed on later. Wildcats will kill and cache prey whenever they can to preserve meals for when food is scarce. From small rodents, hare, and birds of all sorts, to deer, this cat feeds on a wide variety of meats. Being true carnivores, wild cat diets consist heavily of meat but they will dine on grasses to help with digestion.
Bobcats have been persecuted by humans over the years, and at times heavily hunted for their pelts. Although they are considered to be of least concern in much of their range, solitary behaviors and the amazing ability to remain undetected, makes many feline species hard to properly put a number on. Game hunting and a severe lack of knowledge for the necessity of predators in their natural environment keep the bobcat, and many other cat species, at risk regardless of population densities.
Robbie P. Gallant
As a naturalist, I spend a great amount of time in personal study. Discussion and research is key to exploring new and intelligent ideas and furthering our understanding of our natural surroundings.