WILMINGTON — A game camera recently snapped the first photos of a bobcat walking through the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Sand Ridge Savanna Nature Preserve in Custer Township, located about 20 miles northwest of Kankakee.
This is the second bobcat sighting in a Will County preserve in a little over six months. A mother bobcat and her kittens were photographed walking through a small open area in Kankakee Sands Preserve also in Custer Township in late September.
The cameras, which are triggered by motion, are used in the preserves to document animal numbers and movements. The information obtained by the cameras helps guide the Forest Preserve District’s land management strategies.
In addition to Sand Ridge Savanna and Kankakee Sands, bobcats also have been recorded at Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve in Reed Township, Evans-Judge Preserve in Custer Township and Sugar Creek Preserve in Joliet.
Photos of bobcats in the preserves are rare because the animals are so elusive, said Becky Blankenship, the Forest Preserve’s wildlife biologist. So, capturing photos of the creatures in September and again this month at Sand Ridge Savanna Nature Preserve was noteworthy.
“The bobcat was caught on my game camera walking alone along a game trail,” Blankenship said of the latest photos. “My camera caught three pictures. I can’t tell if this individual is one from the Kankakee Sands photos.
“Bobcats can have a wide variety of home range sizes, so that won’t help either,” she added. “Logically, if last year’s photos showed a mother with two kittens, there is a male out there somewhere, too. I’d love to get more photos to help piece this wildlife story together.”
For more information on the bobcats in the Forest Preserve District, visit bit.ly/willcobobcats.