Pair of Dubuque County sightings highlight bobcat comeback in Io - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pair of Dubuque County sightings highlight bobcat comeback in Iowa

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A pair of sightings on trail cameras in southern Dubuque County highlight what's been a great comeback story for bobcats in Iowa.

The Dubuque County Conservation Society posted the pictures on their Facebook page earlier this month, garnering hundreds of comments, likes and shares.

 "It's a great conservation success story that the populations are rebounding and spreading mostly through Southern Iowa, but the populations here in Eastern Iowa are rebounding as well," said Brian Preston, director of Dubuque County Conservation.

Preston says they've seen bobcats go from an endangered species in 1977, to just a species of concern today.

In fact, their numbers have gone up enough that the Iowa DNR now opens a brief season on bobcats in some counties.

He says they pose no threat to you or your animals, and survive on a diet of small game like mice and rabbits.

"Bobcats are a very secretive animal. I still have not seen a live one in the wild. I've seen plenty of trail camera pictures, I've seen tracks, have not seen a live bobcat. But they don't like to be around humans, and they will take off," Preston said.

He says if you are lucky enough to see one, keep your distance and cherish the opportunity.

"Pretty much if you get the chance to see a bobcat, enjoy it. Try to get a picture. It's not something you'll see very often."

He also says that many people tend to mix up mountain lions and bobcats.

Mountain lions no longer have a native population in Iowa, and are usually up to ten feet, while bobcats are just three feet long.

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