With a wide flat face, long fur on the cheek, and a distinct short bobtail, this feline stays hidden behind dense vegetation avoiding human contact. Yes. I am talking about the adaptable bobcats. Bobcats also known as red lynx are mid-sized cats that are predominantly found in the North American continent.
While these wildcats once lived in the United States of America, their range has been extensively contracted due to human activities. While they are found in southern states like Texas but are there any Bobcats still living in Arizona?
Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the Bobcat’s presence in Arizona.
Are There Bobcats in Arizona?
Yes, there are Bobcats in Arizona. Known for their spotted fur, tufted tail, and short tails, bobcats generally have a reddish-brown or gray coat with black spots.
From deserts to mountainous regions, these wildcats inhabit in various habitats across the state. In Arizona, these creatures can be spotted both in rural as well as urban areas.
While it is difficult to precisely provide their locations, bobcats are commonly found in the Sonoran Desert, different mountainous regions like the Santa Catalina mountains, and various rural and suburban areas.
How common are bobcats in Arizona?
Bobcats are quite common in Arizona and have a stable and healthy population in the state. In fact, Bobcats are one of the most abundant and widespread wildcats in North America including Arizona.
While bobcats are elusive and tend to avoid contact with humans, they sometimes venture into suburbs and rural areas with few human populations. In Arizona, these felines can also be encountered near human settlements.
Although their presence and population density may vary from place to place, they are generally found in deserts, grasslands, and mountainous landscapes. On the whole, though bobcats are common in Arizona, their sightings are still considered special due to their shy and solitary nature.
How Large Is an Arizona Bobcat?
Arizona bobcats are similar in size to bobcats inhabiting other states like Texas and Connecticut. Although, there might be a few variations in size among individuals and populations.
In terms of length and height, bobcats have a body length between 2 to 4 feet and stand at shoulder height between 18 to 22 inches. An adult bobcat weighs anywhere between 15 to 35 pounds with males being slightly larger than females.
Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US
Are Bobcats Aggressive in Arizona?
No, bobcats are not in general aggressive toward humans in Arizona. As these creatures are shy and solitary, they avoid human contact and will prefer to escape or hide during a confrontation rather than attack humans.
However, like other wild animals, bobcats too may exhibit defensive behavior when they feel threatened or cornered. Such a situation arises when food comes into the picture.
As bobcats are also known to feed on food sources like pet foods and domestic animals like pets, cattle, sheep, etc., it is important that these food sources are controlled and bobcats’ access to them is removed. Additionally, if you spot one in the wild, respect their space and do not provoke them.
Can You Kill a Bobcat in Arizona?
Yes, you can kill bobcats in Arizona with a valid hunting license.
In Arizona, the regulations related to bobcats hunting are managed by Arizona Game and Fish Department. In contrast to other states, Arizona’s bobcat population is thriving, and therefore to control their population and promote safe hunting practices, permits/licenses for bobcat hunting are issued.
The only exception is when a person kills a bobcat as an act of self-defense. It is also important to note that NV, IR, or thermal riflescopes cannot be used for hunting.
The state’s wildlife agency monitors and tracks the population of Bobcats in Arizona. Therefore, it is important to report any killings made immediately to the Arizona Game and Fish Department immediately.
Can You Own a Bobcat in Arizona?
Yes, you can own a bobcat in Arizona with a valid license. However, the process to obtain the license is exhaustive and a lengthy process.
Additionally, these licenses are issued only for certain purposes like rehabilitation, education, and for research. Therefore, owning a bobcat as a domestic pet is generally not allowed.
Legal requirements aside, bobcats are wild animals and have special needs. Their daily requirements which include special care, extensive area, etc., cannot be satisfied in a domestic scenario.
Moreover, being wild creatures, these wildcats may also carry with them a number of diseases that may not only affect our pets but may be fatal to us humans as well.
Therefore, to satisfy your need to observe bobcats, visit nearby wildlife sanctuaries or zoos instead of trying to own these creatures as a pet.
What To Do If You See a Bobcat in Arizona?
Although bobcats are reclusive and prefer to stay hidden from human eyes, you may spot one in suburbs, rural areas, or even near the human habitat.
While these wildcats usually do not harm humans, to avoid conflicts you can take a few steps like moving away and giving them space, making yourself known through noises so that it has an opportunity to move away, etc.
As most conflicts may arise due to human food sources, it is important that these are contained or kept indoors. These food sources include pet foods, pets, and human garbage.
Additionally, you can also provide an electric fence around your property to avoid their entry. While these cats are not that aggressive if you do find one, report them to Arizona Game and Fish Department and necessary actions will be taken.
Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In Texas
And that was everything you need to know about the bobcats in Arizona. I hope this article was infromative and your queries were answered.
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Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.