Rare bobcat sighting not a surprise, but a treat, according to DNR officials

NILES — A recent apparent bobcat sighting has social media abuzz in and around Niles.

According to the Department of Natural Resource officials, bobcats are not rare in southwest Michigan but seeing one is.

Bobcats, which average three-and-half feet in length, have a tail that is approximately 6 inches long and weigh between 10 and 40 pounds, like to keep to themselves, so seeing one, especially in the daytime hours, is a rare occurrence, according to officials with the Pokagonn Band of Potawatomi Department of Natural Resources.

Pokagon Band DNR Director Jennifer Kanine is seen here with a bobcat. Recently, a bobcat has been sighted locally. Kanine said the animal is probably searching for new territory and should be left alone. (Submitted photo)

“One of the reasons that people are probably seeing a bobcat is because this is the time of year they are moving around and trying to establish new territories,” said Jennifer Kanine, the Pokagon Band DNR director. “The likelihood is this is a young individual that is trying to find his own territory where they will not have to be fighting all the time with other bobcats. So, they have to go far and wide sometimes because those territories are taken up by other animals, and they keep getting kicked out until they can find and establish their own territory.”

Kanine added that because of urban encroachment, bobcats run across houses at the edge of the wood, so they are unsure what they should do or where they should go.

“They have to get their bearings about them and try to find a corridor to get to that next woodlands to get to that territory they can claim for their own,” she said.

Bobcats resemble a cougar. They have black coloring on the end of their tail and tips of their ears, which are pointed with small tufts of fur. Young bobcats have spots on their fur.

Bobcats are not just a northern species, but live throughout the state of Michigan. They can even be found in the outskirts of large cities such as Detroit.

They are no threat to humans, but should be left to themselves like any other wild animal, Kanine said.

“They are not to be toyed with,” Kanine said. “They are a wild animal. You should not be trying to pet them or get anywhere near them. You can observe them from a distance if you come upon them. Just because they are outside during the day does not mean there is anything wrong with them. It just means they are trying to find a way to find a new home.”

Business

Biggby Coffee opens Cassopolis location

Berrien County

Area health departments pause Johnson and Johnson vaccine administration

Dowagiac

City council approves Walter Ward Park basketball court repairs

Business

Niles City Council considers first cannabis festival

Buchanan

Buchanan Commission considers social district

News

Long-time Fifth Third employee retiring

News

Niles District Library, Niles History Center debut story walk

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 747,697 cases, 16,512 deaths

Buchanan

Andrews University students invite public to imagine the next wave of redevelopment in Buchanan

Berrien County

Andrews University among 26 colleges partnering with MDHHS in vaccination efforts

Berrien County

Two area residents sentenced for assault, drug offenses

Berrien County

Despite governor’s urging, local students return to classrooms after spring break

Cass County

Village Free Store seeks donations

News

Niles Police Log: March 31 to April 7

Cass County

Stevensville man injured in La Grange Township crash

Berrien County

Teacher faces disciplinary action for allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Cass County

Niles woman, son injured in single vehicle crash

Dowagiac

Round Oak’s impact on Dowagiac still felt 60 years later

Dowagiac

Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac reach fundraising requirements for Russom Park Pavilion Project

Dowagiac

Rotarian Walter Swann discusses life, community outreach

Cass County

Three Rivers man sentenced to probation for meth possession

Cass County

Edwardsburg man sentenced to one year for assault

Cass County

Cass County hosting workshop about child abuse prevention

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland revises visitor guidelines