Dan Friend

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Where is the wildlife?

Couple years ago I got a call from West Virginia Wildlife Center, who I have done work for in the past,  if I could come down to photograph couple baby bobcats that had been rescued.  The mother had been killed and they were going to try to save them.   I tried not to be too enthusiastic but of course I was there the next morning.

 I didn't want to photograph them in their cages so we went out in the open grass where hopefully we could catch them if they tried to escape.  I was in heaven as I photographed the two baby bobcats playing, jumping, and just being baby bobcats.  As you can see in photograph one climbed on top of my head.  They stayed in the grassy area pretty good but every once in awhile one would make a dash for the woods or under one of the cars parked along the side.  One of the employees had a good system of throwing his jacket over the bobcat when they tried to scamper off.  So we decided that I would come down every week to photograph them till the baby bobcats got too big to let out.

Photos of baby bobcats on the first trip

  • Start of jump paintography
  • Looking at you brother and sister
  • Reaching a paw out
  • A smack on head may help
  • Knock you off the log
  • New wrestling hold I learned
  • Eyes
  • Stalking
  • Tall grass

On the second trip next week to the Wildlife Center it was easy to see the bobcats were growing very fast and were much more active. We went to the edge of the woods to photograph the bobcats.  The playing (fighting) with each other was more aggressive and intense and the female would sometimes flip on her back and start hissing.  I don't think she was playing.  We got some really cool photos of the bobcats near the woods but it was hard to keep them from going into the woods.  After couple close calls of them almost escaping we decided better put them back in their cages.  It was decided that was last time try photograph them out in the open.  I was disappointed but understood.  If a bobcat had gotten away it would not have survived by itself in the woods.

Photos from the second photo shot

  • I got this
  • Climbing not a problem
  • Looking alert
  • Come closer if you dare
  • Pissed off
  • Grumby
  • Peeking out
  • Wide eyes looking
  • No problem for a cat

This year I went back to West Virginia Wildlife Center to photograph some animals and I got to photograph the male bobcat that I photographed when it was a baby.  The male bobcat is in the pen with the other bobcats now. The female bobcat was having a hard time adjusting and was back in her cage.  

The neat thing for me was the bobcat I photographed when it was a baby was not afraid of me.  Before, whenever I would go in the bobcat pen all the bobcats would avoid me and either climb the trees or hide in their dens.  

This bobcat would go about his business without paying much attention to me and  every once in a awhile he would stalk towards me but never getting too close.  Great for photographing.

Photographs of the mature bobcat I photographed as a baby

  • Bobcat in woods
  • Snarling
  • Not happy
  • Tongue cleaning of nostrils
  • Bobcat walking under the tree limbs
  • Bobcat looking from behind a tree
  • Yellow eyes
  • Cat eyes looking around
  • Bobcat walking under the tree limbs

Other bobcat in the tree

Safe up a tree
  • Stalking mode
  • One paw in the eye
  • Reaching a paw out
  • Sharpe claws help
  • Wide eyes looking
  • Pissed off