Pharos-Tribune

Local News

April 11, 2013

Bobcats found in Cass County

2 sightings since December are first since early 90s

Cass County’s wooded areas and river drainages may be attracting more bobcats to the area, according to biologists working for the state.

Two bobcat sightings have been reported in Cass County since December, according to Tom Hewitt, a biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He said they are the first sightings in the area since the early 1990s.

Hewitt said he was contacted by Brenda Louthain, a Cass County conservation officer, about three weeks ago regarding a bobcat that had been killed by a car a few miles west of Logansport on I-24.

Hewitt was also contacted in December by a local trapper who had inadvertently snared and killed a bobcat in a trap he uses to hunt raccoons.

“That’s the first bobcat I’ve heard of in Cass County for several years,” Hewitt said.

Louthain said she had heard of a man living near Lake Cicott about 20 years ago that had obtained a permit to own bobcats and had two of them as pets. She recalled rumors that the bobcats had escaped and said they could have bred, leading to the animals’ growing, though small, presence in the county.

Hewitt said bobcats are likely attracted to the woodlands and the rivers in the area.

“They’re secretive, nighttime critters,” he said. “In Cass County there are a lot of wooded spots and river corridors providing more seclusion.”

The small predators are two to four feet long, standing about two feet high and weigh 15 to 30 pounds, Hewitt said, adding the large tufts of fur on their cheeks are a distinct characteristic.

The possibility of a person running into a bobcat is rare, according to Hewitt, as they are known to avoid people. Should it happen however, he said the best thing to do is to yell in order to scare it away.

“You just have to holler at them to scare them off,” Hewitt said. “That’s probably not going to be needed because in most cases they’re going to be running one way as you run the other way. They’re just as frightened of you as you are of them. The only time a wild animal is going to be defensive is when it has young ones. If you corner them and threaten them, then naturally they’re going to defend themselves.”

Scott Johnson, a biologist with the division of fish and wildlife with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said bobcats are more prevalent in the southern part of the state. From 1998 to 2006, Johnson worked on a project at the Naval Support Activity Crane, a U.S. military installation outside of Crane. He said he and other biologists trapped and placed tracking collars on about 40 bobcats.

“We got quite a bit of information from it,” Johnson said. “One of the things I think we got out of it was bobcats are quite a bit more abundant than maybe they originally thought. They were able to take them off the state endangered list by about the time that project finished up.”

While bobcats are no longer on the state endangered list, they are still protected, prohibiting them from being hunted. If they are inadvertently killed in a trap, as was the case Hewitt addressed in December, the trapper is required to contact the Department of Natural Resources.

Johnson said the motivation behind the tracking study was an increase in reports of bobcats being hit by vehicles.

“We tried to capture some, put radios on them and let the animals dictate the size of the study area,” he said, adding many of the bobcats had predictable and established home ranges in the area but some traveled as far as Cincinnati and East Lansing, Michigan.

Johnson said he thinks the reason bobcats stick to the southern part of the state is because it has more wooded and brushy areas that provide good cover for rabbits, a source of food for bobcats. Like Hewitt, he said major river drainages like the Wabash River offer a satisfactory environment for those that settle up north.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT082114 Opera House Now.jpg Dreaming the old dreams over DELPHI — “To dream the old dreams over is a luxury divine.”That line from the late local poet James Whitcomb Riley was mentioned several times Wednesday at a celebration in Delphi. Those who quoted the line said it was a fitting description for one o

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Schools react to report on bullying The Indiana Department of Education released the first-ever statewide data on school bullying three weeks ago, and a local school found out its data was not entirely accurate.Columbia Middle School — the only school in the Logansport Community School

    August 21, 2014

  • Logansport Learning Academy now open The city’s first-ever licensed early childcare center opened earlier this week.Logansport Learning Academy has been in the works since summer 2013 and finally opened its doors Monday with 12 kids attending and 30 signed up, according to owner David T

    August 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: Aug. 20, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 20, 2014

  • Logansport City Council prepares 2015 budget Logansport City Council members started meeting with department heads earlier this week to discuss proposed expenses as they shape the budget for next year.Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin prefaced the discussion Monday night by saying the budget as it

    August 20, 2014

  • Staples to close by Sept. 20 Logansport's Staples office supply store is closing Sept. 20, a company spokesperson said. It's the latest in a slew of closings the company announced in March it would pursue, stating its goal was to shutter about 225 stores, more than 10 percent of

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS-PT082014 Earthquake4.jpg Shake, rattle and roll: Students learn earthquake safety with simulator WALTON — Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School students experienced what three levels of earthquakes feel like during the school day Tuesday.The Quake Cottage, a mobile earthquake simulator, is run in partnership with the Indiana Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Grissom Fire Department 04 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Military fire power: Grissom FD critical to regional safety GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE — There are six people trapped inside a burning airplane. You and your partner have 10 minutes to rescue them.And you have to do it blind, groping and crawling in total darkness, burdened down with fire gear and an oxygen tan

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT082014 McTaggart awards.jpg Writers win McTaggart honors The Trustees of the Logansport-Cass County Public Library recently announced the winners of the fifth annual McTaggart Writing Competition.In the student poetry division, Lari Rutschmann took first place with her poem “Hands” and second place with an

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Data breach affects Dukes Memorial Hospital PERU — Dukes Memorial Hospital was one of nine Indiana hospitals affected by Monday's data breach at Community Health Systems. Community Health Systems — which is not affiliated with Community Health Network, the Indianapolis-based healthcare provide

    August 19, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson Today in History August 21 Holder Pledges Top Investigators for Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition