Spring Is Coming
February 12, 2020
Valentine’s Day is Friday and love is in the air! This romance includes native U.S. wildlife, like bobcats and cougars. Although we spay or neuter our animals to prevent breeding, their wild cousins are entering mating season. When breeding season is in full swing, animals who are usually solitary, like cats, become more social. This socialization increases the chance for them to be sighted more frequently. Just because they may be seen doesn’t mean they are a threat; they are most likely just looking for a mate. Depending on the species, there are certain mating behaviors that occur. Once mating is over, the animals go back into hiding to start preparing for their babies to be born.
At Turpentine Creek, we spay our female cougars to prevent wild suiters from entering our property. Female cougars will call out to males, when in heat. This sound can travel for miles. It sounds a lot like a woman screaming at the top of her lungs and can be very unnerving to hear. For our safety, and peace of mind, it is better to spay our female cougars than to let them go into heat every year.
In the upcoming months, while outdoors, you might see some of these cute cat-like babies, such as bobcat and cougar kittens, “hiding” in bushes or tall grass.
If you see them, do not touch them or move them. It is very likely that their mom only left for a short time to hunt or forage and will be back soon to get them! They may also be heard from a distance yowling. Though they may sound distressed, do not go closer to them! They are calling for their mom and if people are near she will not return, leaving her babies alone even longer. Interfering with kittens of wild cats can end up hurting them in the long run, especially if they get used to people being around.
As the season of love ends, young wildlife will start appearing. Though they are cute, they are still wild animals who play an important role in the environment.