Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Saturday, July 14, 2012
(BEDFORD) - About 65 campers were assembled in the main lodge of the First Christian Church campground when a surprise visitor showed up.
Carol Johnson, of the Times-Mail reports, teering at them through the glass door was a bobcat. Just as the bobcat walked away, a counselor snapped a photo.
"It really did surprise me, that place is out there in the woods on the bluff, but I'd never heard one or seen one, but we've seen about everything else," said Gordon Douglas, property manager.
FCC camp is off Sandpit Road and sits on 108 acres.
Kathy Wray, camp cook, has never seen a bobcat on the property, either. She was surprised when she saw the photo, taken on July 5 between 7 and 8 p.m.
Secretive and elusive, sightings of bobcats are rare, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, making interactions between humans and bobcats rarer still.
They are primarily nocturnal, hunting and moving during early morning and late evening hours. Their secretive, nocturnal behavior and preference for remote areas make interactions between humans and bobcats relatively rare. They are not considered threats to humans. They hunt mice, rats and rabbits.
Bobcats are more prominent in the southwest portion of Indiana, especially in places like Greene County. And with more outdoor enthusiasts setting up trail cameras, bobcat sightings are becoming more common.
DNR assistant biologist Cassie Hudson said Indiana "has more bobcats than, say, 10 or 15 years ago."
Roadkills are one way DNR tracks the population.
"We're picking up roadkills from a large area of the state now," Hudson said.
The DNR lists bobcats as a species of special concern, which means they are still protected and it's illegal to kill them.
Douglas said since seeing the bobcat, camp staff would warn future campers not to approach one if seen on the campground, but as rare as sightings are, he figures another sighting isn't likely, but, Douglas said, you never know.
"I kid everyone that the camp is five minutes from town and 40 miles from nowhere," he joked.
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