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Bobcats alive and well in Solon Township

By Judy Reed

In December 2007, Jennifer August, of Solon Township, looked out her window and was astonished to see a bobcat in her backyard. She took some pictures and sent them on to us. Then she didn’t see another again. Until last week.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said August, who lives on Albrecht, north of 20 Mile. “I looked out my kitchen window again and there it was. It walked right up into the yard,” she said.

August said she got her camera and called her family into the kitchen to see it. “Last time I was the only one that saw it,” she said.

August said it walked slowly into the yard, then turned and walked along the back edge of some brush, and off down a trail.

The Post last reported a bobcat sighting with photos in Solon Township in June 2009. That bobcat was spotted lounging in a backyard near 18 Mile and Algoma.

Bobcat sightings are increasing in number. They are more common in northern Montcalm and Newaygo than in Kent, but increasing in those counties as well. It is illegal to hunt or kill them here.

The bobcat seems to be following the same pattern as the black bear and the river otter—moving more southward in the state.

According to the DNR, the bobcat is a medium-sized wild cat about twice the size of a domestic cat. They measure 2-1/2 to 3 feet long. Occasionally, males can exceed 40 pounds. They range in color from yellowish-brown to reddish-gray, and are often spotted black or brown. Their ears are pointed with a tuft of black hair. They have a short tail, usually less than eight inches long that is also tipped in black.

Anyone who sees a bobcat is encouraged to enjoy the sight, but leave it alone, and report it on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Body: 2 – 3 1/2 feet long
Tail: Approximately 6 inches long
Adult Weight: 10 – 40 lbs
Coloration: Similar to cougar
Black coloring on end of tail and tips of ears, ears pointed with small tufts of fur. Young have spots

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