See This Cunning Bobcat Defy Gravity and Chase a Squirrel Up a Tree

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 21, 2023
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Key Points

  • Bobcats are versatile, medium-sized hunters that inhabit forests, mountains, swamps, and deserts. Their main prey consists of small mammals, birds, and lizards.
  • These agile members of the lynx family hunt with speed and agility, scaling trees with absolute ease.
  • In the video, the stealthy bobcat leaps from branch to branch in an attempt to catch an even faster squirrel.

Bobcats are often described as elusive hunters which means that we humans don’t get to see them in action that often. We know what and when they like to hunt but seeing it happen is pretty rare. So, this video is a real treat. In it, we see a determined bobcat hunting a squirrel.

Watch The Unedited Footage Below!

Watching at the Base of the Tree

The footage starts with the bobcat in a super alert posture at the base of a tree in a forest. Bobcats are consummate hunters. They are medium-sized mammals in the lynx genus and are a native to North America. They owe much of their success to their versatility and their ability to adapt to several different environments. You will see bobcats in mountains and forests but also in swamps and deserts. They are surprisingly willing to enter urban environments to find food. When they are not chasing squirrels, they hunt rabbits, mice, birds, and lizards but have been known to attack deer which is more of a challenge for them.

To hunt they use both stealth and power. They creep up on their prey and then lunge with lightning speed.

bobcat standing on top of a rock

Bobcats use stealth, speed, and power to hunt

©iStock.com/twildlife

Bobcats and Trees

Bobcats are very comfortable in forests and, as we see here, are perfectly capable of scaling trees. This particular bobcat looks like a domestic cat as it stalks the squirrel. The mannerisms are strikingly similar.

Using strong limbs and sharp claws, the bobcat can scale the tree by hugging the rough trunk. It’s amazing how agile it is and how quickly it can scale a vertical surface.

However, despite its best efforts it just can’t quite get at the squirrel who is just a bit faster when changing direction. The squirrel runs up and down the tree trunk as if it is enjoying this bizarre but deadly game of ‘cat and mouse’. Of course, it is not a game at all and if the bobcat catches the squirrel it stands no chance.

Animal, Animal Behavior, Animal Body Part, Animal Hair, Animal Themes

Squirrels will run and climb in a zig-zag to escape predators.

©iStock.com/Nigel Harris

The bobcat reaches an impressive height and is able to travel from branch to branch. It is also remarkably persistent and scales the tree over and over again to try to reach its prey but the squirrel is just too agile and can stay in the smaller branches that will not support the weight of the larger animal. After a prolonged stand-off, the bobcat spots the human cameraman and slopes away.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Karyn Honor/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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