The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is Building a Home for Bobcats

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Courtesy Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Kilgore the bobcat, the Maryland Zoo’s newest addition. Courtesy Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Bobcats are a known species in western parts of Maryland, but we could soon be seeing some of the North American wildcats here in Baltimore.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore revealed yesterday that its staff is already caring for one young male bobcat name Kilgore, named after the state’s second-highest vertical waterfall in Rocks State Park. Kilgore arrived here by way of the Oregon Zoo in September. He’s about half-a-year old and weighs around 10.5 pounds, according to Erin Cantwell, the zoo’s mammal collection and conservation manager.

While Kilgore is being raised in a private area, the zoo is starting to renovate its Maryland Wilderness habitat, once home to red fox, as a home for him and fellow bobcats. The exhibit will be right next to the otters outside the Marsh Aviary, located just west of the central area of the zoo.

Maryland Zoo President/CEO Don Hutchinson said in a release that contractors will be knocking down some of the high rock walls that once surrounded the water feature to create space for the bobcats to jump and climb. “When repurposing such an area, we strive to give the animals space that replicates their native habitat as well as giving guests the ability to see them in order to learn more about the species,” Hutchinson said in a release.

The planned 770-square-foot exhibit will also feature a mesh top to create vertical space, as well as other rockwork and pool and land areas. Philadelphia-based architecture firm CLR Design, which specializes in habitat design, created the design for the new space, while Baltimore-based Kimball Construction Company is in charge of general contracting.

Visitors could be seeing Kilgore in action as soon as this coming spring, according to the release from the zoo. The bobcats will be very much separate from their African feline relatives — the lions, cheetahs, leopards and servals — in the eastern side of the park.

Ethan McLeod
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