TRUCKEE, Calif. - This picture of a bobcat (L. rufus californicus) was taken recently around the back deck of a home in Martiswood Estates in Truckee. Typically preferring to hunt in early morning and dawn, bobcats are being seen more and more frequently in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The bobcat is an adaptable predator about twice as large as a domestic cat, with a gray to brown coat, a whiskered face and black-tufted ears. Favorite foods of the bobcat are rabbits and hares. According to the Lake Tahoe News, Tahoe Basin residents are reporting more sightings of mountain cottontail rabbits, an indigenous rabbit that prefers to live under woodpiles and decks. The increased population of the bobcat's favorite prey explains the increased number of sightings of the cats locally. Fortunately, bobcats are not known to eat dogs or cats, nor do they attack humans except in very rare circumstances.
Amazingly, this sighting occurred the day after I researched an article online about rabbits in the Tahoe area, since I have been seeing more than usual this year, at www.laketahoenews.net/2012/05/influx-of-rabbits-in-lake-tahoe-brings-more-bobcats/.