Martin County’s theme is “Our Good Nature.” We have kept some of it, unlike so many other counties in the state of Florida. I grew up appreciating this. My mother and father used to bring home injured animal for my sister, Jenny, my brother, Todd, and me to care for when we were growing up in Stuart in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. I was taught never to be afraid of wild animals, but to respect them.
One of my favorite fascinations with local wildlife is the black, or “melanistic,” bobcats of western Martin County. I have written before about this local genetic phenomenon. In fact, it is one of my all time most popular posts. Indeed, there are more reports of black bobcats or “black panthers” occur right here, especially around Lake Okeechobee and the St Lucie Canal, than anywhere else in the state!
Yesterday, my friend and UF NRLI classmate, FWC biologist Angeline Scotten– who was in town to give a coyote presentation for Sewall’s Point and Martin County, took me to visit Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and to meet her mentor– of animal-fame– David Hitzig, Busch Wildlife’s long time executive director. I was totally impressed. What an amazing place. You must visit! http://www.buschwildlife.org
Early on in the conversation I told Mr Hitzig that for whatever reason, although an animal fan, I had never visited Busch Wildlife Sanctuary—but that I had written about a black bobcat that was documented to be at the sanctuary after being trapped near the St Lucie Canal in Western Martin County. This bobcat had been eating somebody’s chickens.
Excitedly, Mr Hitzig noted that yes, the melanistic bobcat had been at the center a few years ago, and was released. He also shared that just this month, April 2016, there had been reports of not one, but two, black bobcat cubs walking behind their mother; he later shared this rare and awesome photo.
What a sight! Two black bobcat cubs strolling happily along behind their mother in western Martin County. I love this place. Don’t you?
Former post on black bobcat that was temporarily at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary: https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/03/07/the-black-bobcats-of-the-st-lucie-region-and-indian-river-lagoon/
Correction to blog 🙂 Just after completing this post, I just received an email from David Hitzig of Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, and this black bobcat cub photo was taken in Okeechobee, a western neighbor to Martin County not Martin County itself as I thought when I wrote this! Certainly there are no boarders for the cats and Okeechobee and Martin are side by side “out west.” See map below. Wanted to note for the record. jacqui
Thank you Mr David Hitzig for sharing this marvelous photo.
Thank you to FWC Angeline Scotten from UF NRLI Class XV for taking me to the Busch Wildllife Sanctuary and for her excellent coyote presentation for the Town of Sewall’s Point: http://nrli.ifas.ufl.edu
10 thoughts on “Two Black Bobcat Cubs and Mom–Happily Strolling Around Western Martin County, SLR/IRL”
Reblogged this on Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and commented:
After all this I just got an email from David Hitzig and these black bobcat cubs are from Okeechobee! Neighbor to Martin County! 🙂 Still love this place!
Always enjoy your blogs Jacqui
Thank you Brent!
Last summer my sister and I saw a young dark gray black bob cat in North east Charlotte county just south of Desoto county.Have a pic but he had moved to the brush and all I have is a outline and blob…LOL You can tell the size and that its a cat.
What a great experience! Picture is your mind forever! Thanks for documenting and telling your story.
I filmed one of two cubs September 26th in Ocala 2018 from my iPhone.
Oh that is awesome!!!! If you wish, please send me a copy of the video and I will post to the page. I would so love to see! JAcqui TL 772-486-4818 or email@example.com
Wow way back around 1991 I suppose I was out walking by the Econlockhatchee river I think it was in Seminole County. There are Trails there along the river. I was on the north side of the river off the beaten path and I heard something rummaging around in the Cypress hole. I was out in an open field and I stood Still and watched in the direction of the sound. I never was sure what it was that stepped out that day but I bet it was one of these black bobcats. I thought the ears were too rounded to be a dog. And I thought it was too slender to be a black bear plus it did not have a brown nose. It stood there looking at me for quite a while. It seems like it was a little big to be a bobcat but I have only seen one bobcat in the wild before. As I remember it, it had a very short tail I’ll bet it was one of these melanistic Bobcats. I have never heard of that before and just stumbled onto this. This was just off Snow Hill Road just north of the river and maybe about an eighth of a mile north of the river. It was a really enjoyable experience. As I did not know what it was I backed away very slowly until I was probably 300 yards away and then I turned and ran back into an area where it would be hard for it to find me.
Steve what an experience! Seminole County has so much wildlife! Certainly there are so many wonderful animals like black bobcats and bears to find. Keep on your running shoes! 🙂