Start Seeing Bobcats: Illinois’ Population Of Them Has Grown
Bobcats, and their expanding populations have been a fairly hot topic since last year's incident in a North Carolina family's driveway when a rabid bobcat attacked a couple while they tried to get into their car to go to work.
The question "are there bobcats near my location" has been getting asked a lot on Google since that time, and many times the answer has been yes.
If you don't recall the incident I'm talking about, watch this (you'll have to agree to watch age-restricted content):
Even Though Illinois' Bobcat Numbers Are On The Rise, Experts Say The Chances Of You Having To Body Slam A Rabid Bobcat In Your Driveway Are Slim
To be on the safe side, you might wish to remember that guy's body slam technique...just in case.
The Illinois Bobcat Foundation says that the American bobcat, which is the only native wild cat in Illinois, was once listed as a threatened species. It was first protected in 1972, but the designation was removed in 1999. After being removed from the protected list, bobcat hunting/trapping legislation allowed the first season in over 40 years to begin in 2016.
So, as you might imagine, the bobcat population here in Illinois is on the rise. We have 102 counties here in Illinois, and the Illinois Bobcat Foundation estimates that there are over 5,000 bobcats roaming about in 99 of those counties.
Over the last 3 years, there have been multiple sightings throughout the Chicago suburbs and Southern Wisconsin, so I've got to figure that at least one of us in the Rockford area is going to have a "is that a bobcat?" moment at some point in the near future.