Thursday, October 05, 2006

An Unfortunate Find


Bobcats have always been a favorite of mine. I've set up remote cameras and hiked trails in search of this elusive cat in the Turkey Creek area of the Big Thicket which is perfect habitat for them. Rich in diversity it provides ample prey such as rabbits, voles, squirrels, deer and a million different ways to hide. I have found their sign in the way of scat, tracks, and scrapes, so I know they're there, it just that they haven't yet decided to present themselves to me. It's just a matter of patience. Then finally I come across one, but not in the way I had hoped. While driving down Highway 69/287 that courses through this area I spotted something along its edge. As I drove past I immediately knew it wasn't one of the usual road-killed animals I've come across. Not a raccoon, opossum, or armadillo. I instantly knew by the makings of its fur that it was something different....something elusive. As I turned around I could see the spotting on her belly and her "bobbed" striped tail and instantly knew what it was. I hate seeing any animal dead, but something such as this, something as stunning and secretive as this sincerely breaks my heart. What was she doing before she was killed? Hunting? Roaming? Did she have kittens to tend to? As we humans continue to effect climate change and encroach on what's left of their territory we will see more and more of this. I can only hope that the next one I come upon will be lazily alseep atop the limb of an ancient oak or padding its way through the thicket in search of a meal.

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