Lynx rufus
Scientificname: Lynx rufus
Range: from Canadian/U.S. border down through Mexico
Habitat:swamps, deserts, and mountain ranges
Status: LeastConcerned
Diet in the wild:insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. (animals weighing1.5-12 lbs.)
Diet in the zoo:special feed of horsemeat with vitamins
Location in thezoo: in the Brush Country at theTexas Wild Exhibit


  • Height:  1 to1.5 feet 
  • Body Length: 2 to 4 feet
  • Weight:  15to 30 pounds
  • Color:  Thickreddish brown to brownish gray fur with small dark spots 
  • Tail length: 6 inches
  • On its face it hasfacial fur and a tuft of hair on the ear tips 
  • Long legs 
  • Runs 15 mph
  • Can leap 12 feet



  • Females are ableto produce cubs by 1 year of age.
  • Males are fertile2 years after birth.
  • Both sexes are reproductivefor the rest of their existence.
  • The pregnacy lastsfor about 2 months.
  • 2-4 cubs per litter.
  • Cubs are born witheyes shut.
  • Cubs nurse for 2months and then are gradually given meat to eat.
  • 3-5 month old cubsgo hunting with their mothers.
  • Breeding season isin February and March.

Inthe wild most bobcats live 2-5 years.  In captivity they can liveup to 12 and 15. 

Specialanatomical, physiological
orbehavioral adaptations:
  • Bobcats have sharpclaws and teeth to help catch and eat their prey. 
  • Bobcats have extrahair on their ears and cheek areas that are used to hear sensitive vibrations.

Commentsabout the bobcats at the Fort Worth Zoo:

TheFort Worth Zoo has a male and female bobcat that are kept in the BrushCountry in the Texas Wild Exhibit.  They eat some sort of commercialbeef mixture with a little horsemeat in it.  The female seems moreathletic, but the male also has his moments.  They were both handraised.  The female is from a zoo in Alexandria, LA and the male wasan orphan that was rescued from the metroplex area.  The zoo keepershave special names that they call these two cats but they remain unknownto the public. 


Thereis one male and one female bobcat at the Fort Worth Zoo.  After alengthy observation it seemed that the female was a lot more active andexcited than the male.  She would chase a piece of paper if you movedit across the glass.  She would jump a few feet to try to reach it. She also liked ponytails swinging in front of the glass and tried to grabthose too.  The female bobcat would constantly tried to play withthe male but he never acted interested just serious, (which is typicalof any male, human or cat!).  She also tried to get out of the cagea time or two by climbing to the highest possible places and looking around. She sharpened her claws while I was visiting and she even jumped aroundeven as to where I could tell how she moved.

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Page author:

Colleen Kennedy

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