Friday, June 24, 2011

The Cactus and the Bobcat

My husband sent me an email today, forwarded by someone else. Since my husband rarely sends me an email, I decided to open up the forward.

What he sent was very interesting! I Googled the information and determined that it was indeed a true story and that it happened on or around the 7th of April 2011. So now that I believe it's true, I'm going to pass it on.

This bobcat was photographed by Curt Fonger, a photographer of 40 years, who lives in Gold Canyon, Arizona.  All of the photographs are credited to Mr. Fonger, but I did get these from my email, so the quality is no where near what the original would look like, I'm sure. 

As the story goes, this bobcat was being chased by a hungry mountain lion and to escape potential death the bobcat made his way up to the top of the prickly, pokey saguaro cactus to wait out the hunger pangs of the lion.

The lion eventually moved on, but the bobcat stayed up there on its perch for most of the day.  Curt Fonger stayed to witness the events.

Now, I can't imagine that the top of that cactus being any softer than any other part, so I'm assuming that it wasn't a terribly comfortable resting spot for this fella.

True!  It's better than being lunch!

...but 40 feet up in the air on something as painful as a cactus had to be a pretty awful day.

The bobcat hardly shows any discomfort.  Maybe he's done this trick before.

I sure am glad that Curt Fonger was there that day to witness this event and take photos of it.  What a beautiful animal.

Have a great day!

I gleened the information from the folowing sources...

Here is what the email said:
The photos were captured in Gold Canyon, on the foot of the Superstition Mountains.The bobcat was trying to get away from a mountain lion that was stalking it, explains the photographer Curt Fonger. He darted up a 40-foot saguaro, and there he stayed for the remainder of the day.Curt Fonger and his wife Marta are living out their golden years on wilderness' edge in Gold
Canyon. With over 40 years of photography experience, Curt recently had a career-defining moment.

"I've never had the luxury of seeing a bobcat on top of a saguaro," he says. "Just a beautiful creature,he was displaying himself proudly, kind of looking around, probably trying to see if mister mountain lion was still around... it was almost if he was posing!"  Curt says the golden cat with amber eyes stared back at him, perched on top of the cactus for hours.  "He was pretty relaxed, he kind of laid on top of the saguaro, shut his eyes, almost as if he was sleeping."  The bobcat eventually came down.
"It was that Kodak moment I think every photographer lives for."

and here is just one of the many articles I found online.  This one was from KPHO found on the Free Republic website.

Bobcat Climbs Cactus To Escape Mountain Lion ^ | 4/7/11

Posted on Fri Apr 8 03:08:09 2011 by Slings and Arrows
PHOENIX -- Who knew that a bobcat could climb a plant with millions of sharp spines without injury?
Photographer Curt Fonger captured some great images of a bobcat that climbed a saguaro Tuesday.
Fonger's friend says the bobcat ran through the grounds at Smiling Dog Landscape in Gold Canyon.
A mountain lion was running after the bobcat, probably looking for breakfast.
Fonger's friend said the bobcat clawed its way to the top of the cactus and stared back down at the mountain lion.
The bobcat stayed up there all day long. The mountain lion eventually lost interest and wandered off.
Curt Fonger, who's been taking wildlife photographs for 40 years, says this was his most memorable shoot ever.
"When he looked down at me, those beautiful amber eyes with those dark slits said it all. It was so refreshing to be able to personally witness this bobcat at that precise moment," Fonger said. "A story of survival. He wasn't nervous or frightened. Instead he had a personified "Calm after the Storm" demeanor. A lesson more of us could learn from."
Fonger said the creature even took a "bobcatnap" during the morning. How comfy could that be?
"In my 40 years of photography this was without doubt a defining moment in being at the right place at the right time. I'm still smiling a day later," Fonger said.


Mike Golch said...


Beth Zimmerman said...

That is awesome! What a beautiful cat he is! Thanks for sharing with us!

Karen and Gerard said...

Smart cat! What a fantastic photo opportunity! Glad that bobcat did come down eventually.

Ann in the UP said...

Wow! How worth seeing. Thanks for showing us this story.

jb said...

Bobcats have HUGE paws that are padded with fur...this allows them to prance across hot desert sands and frozen snow without injury. Perhaps this is why he looks like he is just having a spa day in many of the photos.
How do I know this stuff about BOBcats? Well, they are also known as wlidcats...and since I went to UNH...home of the Wildcats...I learned a lot about them!
I will take you to the big statue of Wildcat on campus when you get here..he is a big deal...
And it goes without mention that I am a BOB, and Bobs are wicked smart. We would never be lunch!

Mrs4444 said...

Fascinating! Maybe it's like those nails feats. Regardless, this is an impressive story; how awesome for the photographer :)