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Bobcat mother and kittens spotted in Charlottesville's Pen Park

The city of Charlottesville is asking the public not to approach a bobcat mother and her kittens that have been spotted in Pen Park.

“There are reports of a female bobcat with kittens in the woods at Pen Park that connects from the fitness trail area down along the fence with RiverRun where the trail goes down to the river,” the city said in a statement issued Tuesday. “Please exercise caution and do NOT disturb or attempt to approach them.”

Bobcat attacks on humans are virtually unknown, but mothers are protective of their young.

“The female defends them strongly, even against the male until about 2 months of age,” according to the Virginia Department of Wildlife.

While bobcats prefer heavily wooded areas, they can be found closer to human habitation.

“They show little avoidance of any habitat type except in areas highly developed or with dense human populations,” according to the Department of Wildlife.

Humans are not a natural target for bobcats, who typically hunt small game. In fact, over the years they have proven useful to many Virginia farmers as they are particularly fond of eating rodents.


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