Y-City News

Bobcat sightings increase in Ohio

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By Christine Holmes, News Director

As Ohio’s bobcat population increases, sightings are becoming more common throughout the eastern portion of the state.

Most recently, videos and photos of bobcats spotted in the Zanesville area are circulating social media.  

“Enjoy the sighting,” said Jim Hill of  the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ southeast division Wildlife Management. “That’s kind of a unique opportunity here in Ohio.”

However, Hill also said to keep a distance from the bobcats if seen because they are still a wild animal.

According to ODNR, there were nearly 500 bobcat sightings throughout the state of Ohio in 2017.

Muskingum County was among the counties with the most sightings at 22, while neighboring Guernsey county led the state in bobcat sightings with a total of 53.

The bobcat population in Ohio has increased significantly in recent years.

Up until 2008, it was extremely rare to see a bobcat in the Ohio.

In 2014, the bobcat was removed from the state’s list of endangered and threatened species.

Still, the bobcat is protected from hunting and should not be shot if spotted, Hill said.

According to Hill, bobcats pose little threat to humans or pets.

While bobcats hunt their food, their prey is typically much smaller than they are, ranging from prey as small as insects to as large as fish and rabbits, according to ODNR.

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