According to the FWC website, Florida bobcat sightings during the day are not uncommon in the Sunshine State because they only sleep for two or three hours at a time.
WINTER HAVEN — Jacob Mortera was working in his garage when he saw a tree in front of his house shaking.
“And then I look up and I see a big thing on the tree,” he said. “I see it — it was pretty big, and it has a squirrel.”
Mortera watched as the bobcat then climbed down the tree with his prey and walked stealthily away from the yard.
He took a video of the bobcat and posted it on his wife’s YouTube channel (Lucy Mel, Travel with Lucy Mel).
“I was following it for a while, and it was stopping to look at me,” he said. “It is crazy. I think he lives there.”
Right over the edge of the ridge in Mortera's community is an electric barbwire fence with cows on the other side.
Mortera and his wife, Eva, moved to Winter Haven from Illinois about 1½ years ago. They walk their dog, a tiny rat terrier, on the lake near their home, which is across from his garage, he said.
The bobcat sighting happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday, he said.
“Bobcats are native to Florida and can be found throughout the state,” said Melody Kilborn, public information director for the southwest division of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. “They usually hunt at night and primarily prey on squirrels, rabbits and rats. Occasionally, a bobcat will take a feral cat or domestic chicken."
According to the FWC website, bobcat sightings during the day are not uncommon in Florida because they only sleep for two or three hours at a time. Bobcats are about twice the size of a domestic cat, and are usually tan and yellowish brown with dark brown or black streaks. Their tails are short, giving them the appearance of being bobbed.
Breeding season for bobcats runs from August to March, with the peak in February and March.
Kathy Leigh Berkowitz can be reached at email@example.com or at 863-802-7558. Follow her on Twitter @kberkowitzthel1.
This story originally published to theledger.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.