Bobcats are native to Florida, and they are territorial wild cats. Their territories can range from 1 sq. mile to 6 sq. miles, depending on prey density in the area. They are the most heavily harvested wild cats, with 30,000-50,000 pelts exported from the United States each year.
We receive a lot of calls from land owners asking us to come and capture bobcats for relocation because they are concerned:
- for their children and/or pets
- that their neighbors will kill the bobcat
- that the bobcat is predating their farm animals
We don’t relocate bobcats for a number of reasons, but primarily because the regulations of the state prohibit the relocation of nuisance bobcats. Since bobcats are territorial, relocating them means that they are removed from that territory. Laws surrounding the rescue of bobcats specify that the animal must be returned to the wild in the same county that they come from, as close to the site where they were rescued as possible. Once relocated and released, the bobcat would just return to their territory; this puts the bobcat at risk of injury or death, since they may need to cross roads to return to their home site.
Instead, we provide brochures and other educational materials to guide people towards living harmoniously with their wild neighbors. For example, we recommend that people keep small animals caged or indoors at night, and we advise them not to have feeders for small animals, like birds and squirrels, as these will attract larger predators as well. Check out the slideshow below for more reasons why bobcats make great neighbors!
Press the play button, or use the left and right arrows to move through the slideshow.
Click on the Mark Complete button to go to Lesson 1.5: About Bobcat Rehab Keepers.