Forest Preserve District of Will County game cameras recently captured some rare and photos of bobcats walking through a small open area in Kankakee Sands Preserve in Custer Township.
The cameras, which are triggered by motion, are used in the preserves to document animal numbers and movements. The information obtained by the cameras helps guide the Forest Preserve District's land management strategies.
Photos of bobcats in the preserves are rare, happening only once every couple of years, said Becky Blankenship, the forest preserve’s wildlife biologist.
“The most common animals caught on camera are deer, squirrels, a variety of birds and raccoons,” she said in a news release from the forest preserve.
Blankenship said the photos recorded what appears to be a mother and at least two kittens. Females can reach sexual maturity a year after birth, so the mother is at least a year old, and the kittens were likely born this spring, she said.
Bobcats, which are twice the size of a common house cat, have been detected in the Forest Preserve’s Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Evans-Judge Preserve, Sugar Creek Preserve and now Kankakee Sands Preserve.
Blankenship said bobcats are typically only active at twilight or just before sunrise and they are well camouflaged and avoid people, so that is why they are a rare sight.
For more information, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.