Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bobcats!

I live in the mountains.  Most of the area is national forest, interspersed with ski areas, campgrounds and hiking trails, but there are strips of fairly densely populated areas which claim to be little towns, mostly on the lakes, and that is where the houses are allowed.  This means that there's a lot of wildlife around, even in the towns.  I've seen a few fat squirrels, a couple of chubby raccoons, several bunnies, a coyote, and now we have a BOBCAT!  I haven't seen it yet, but others have.  It's most likely passing through for a rabbit feast before moving back into the wild forest when the weather warms.

Japan doesn't have native bobcats or related species (cougar, lynx) but there IS a Japanese bobcat.  It's a bobtail cat, descended from domestic cats imported and then released in the 1600s to take care of a growing rodent problem.  They're wild (perhaps feral is the correct term) now, and found everywhere.  Naturally, being clever opportunists, they have found highway rest areas, and are quite friendly when begging lunch.  Many domestic cats are either of this breed or descended from this breed as they have the distinctive short tail, which is a genetic modification.  They are now a registered show breed, as this lovely one shown below.



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