CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A naturalist recently spotted a once-endangered bobcat roaming the woods in Crawford County.
According to the Telegraph-Forum, the bobcat was seen near Galion, which is about 20 miles west of Mansfield. It may have been the first bobcat in Crawford County reported in more than 150 years.
Bobcats were once listed on the Ohio Endangered and Threatened Species list, but the species was recently removed. The animal remains protected in Ohio.
The wild cat was common throughout Ohio, but were extirpated from the state in 1850 when the human population began to grow, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. In 2014, there were 197 verified reports of bobcats in Ohio. Most of those reports were verified through photographs, incidentally trapped, or through road-kill.
A bobcat can be identified by it's short, dense coat, usually colored light gray, brown, or reddish. The bobcat's ears are usually black with white spots.
The ODNR says bobcat sightings are expected to increase in eastern Ohio in future years.