Bobcats are solitary and beautiful creatures, but for many humans, their fur is much more lucrative than their safety.
In the state of Illinois, conservation efforts begun in 1977 have helped substantially restore the dwindling bobcat population. But instead of leaving the cats to flourish on their own, the state’s Department of Natural Resources sanctioned the first bobcat hunt in four decades.
“Before they were protected in Illinois 1972, bobcats were nearly extirpated from the state due to over-trapping, and their ongoing recovery has been slow,” Marc Ayers, Illinois state of affairs director for the Humane Society of the United States told The Dodo. “Even without this renewed threat of hunting, bobcats faced additional impediments to their comeback including incidental trapping, vehicle collisions, poaching and impacts from habitat loss. With this new season, they now face the same methods that led to their demise in the first place."