(WGHP) – Officials with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said the state’s bobcat population continues to increase.

Over the last 50 years, the bobcat population has rebounded due to habitat restoration work and the NCWRC’s authorization of bobcat hunting and trapping season in all regions of NC.

Bobcats are about twice the size of their distant relative the domestic cat and live all across NC, but wooded areas along the Coastal Plain and the mountains are where they’re most likely to be found.

Bobcat (credit: NPS / Luke Sabala)
Bobcat (credit: NPS / Luke Sabala)

While these big cats can live close to people since they feel comfortable in a wide range of habitats, they are mostly not a threat since they rarely cause conflict with people.

They are secretive, prefer to go undetected even if people are around and will usually run away from a person if spotted.

If you notice one in your neighborhood, don’t be alarmed. Keep your distance and consider yourself lucky to have seen one of NC’s only wildcats.