Two young bobcats spent their Monday morning batting around a golf ball at Bonita Fairways Golf Course off Terry Street in Bonita Springs, FL.
Two young bobcats spent their Monday morning batting around a golf ball at Bonita Fairways Golf Course off Terry Street in Bonita Springs.
Bonita Fairways resident Carol Rodgers said she saw the kittens playing near the 13th hole at around 8 a.m. A golfer hit a ball down the fairway, which grabbed the bobcats’ attention, she said.
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“The two bobcats saw the ball, sniffed it and started playing with it,” Rodgers said, laughing. “They were having lots of fun wrestling with it.”
As the fairway felines enjoyed playing with the golf ball, Rodgers took out her camera and snapped a few photos.
“I was just so excited,” she said. “You just don’t see anything like this.”
The bobcats are likely 4 to 5 months old, said Dave Onorato, a wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“They are still with mom at that age,” Onorato said in an email.
Bobcats can be found throughout Florida, in rural and suburban areas, Onorato said. The FWC often get reports and photos of bobcats on golf courses, Onorato said.
“Being that they require a smaller home range, they can be more adaptable to areas that have been altered or developed,” Onorato said.
They sleep only a few hours at a time, so seeing them in the daytime is not uncommon either, said Michelle Kerr, a public information specialist with the FWC.
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The bobcat kitten duo at Bonita Fairways ran off with the golf ball after the golfers approached, Rodgers said. She warned the two players that the kittens were the golf ball thieves.
“His buddy let him drop,” Rodgers said of how the golfers reacted. Golfers can drop a ball when it is hit in an unplayable area — or stolen by bobcat kittens.
Rodgers has seen a family of bobcats around the golf course before, usually early in the morning or at dusk, she said.
Rodgers said she feels lucky to see wildlife, such as the bobcat kittens, up close.
“We see gopher tortoises all the time. Last year, I saw a Florida panther a few times,” she said. “We just feel totally blessed to have the presence of nature right behind us in the middle of a city.”
This story originally published to news-press.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.