FAIRPLAIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is working to determine what led to the death of a bobcat discovered near the Ionia-Montcalm county line.
State wildlife biologist John Niewoonder said someone discovered the animal Tuesday near Jenks Road about a mile west of Brown Road in Fairplain Township, northeast of Belding.
Niewoonder said the dead creature is a large adult male bobcat that weighs about 25 to 30 pounds.
Niewoonder says someone put the dead animal in a bush about 5 feet from the roadside. MDNR officials plan to send the bobcat’s body to an MSU lab to determine what led to its death.
Niewoonder said bobcats are not unusual in Michigan, but rarer in the southern Lower Peninsula. He says the Long Lake area is a hot spot for bobcats, so much so that the DNR has launched a research project to measure the population. Since bobcats are very secretive and elusive, they’re trying to use trail cameras to track them.
Niewoonder says bobcats do not pose a threat to people and rarely attack livestock, instead opting for rabbits, mice and small mammals in the wild.
While bobcats are active throughout the year, they may be moving around more now because it is breeding season, he said.
Bobcat hunting and trapping is allowed in northern Michigan, but the DNR says people can’t legally trap or hunt bobcats in the Long Lake area. Anyone caught killing a bobcat illegally would face a fine.