Are There Bobcats In Silverton?
Usually the problems in my little community of Silverton, in the northeastern section of Toms River, are minor. Cracked sidewalks here, a burnt pizza there. Occasionally there is cause for alarm, like a couple of years ago when the Hookah parlor was shot up and someone was murdered. You can read the follow-up to that story here. Meanwhile, like most small, tight-knit communities these days, the bitching is usually done on social media. Revolving around bad restaurant reviews and crooked politicians.
However, last night while scrolling, I came across a thread that could endanger every one of us if true….
Someone Saw A Bobcat In Silverton!
I know! I was scared shitless too! When I think Bobcats, I think cats as big as my dog. Long, sharp fangs. Razor-like claws. Blood thirsty felines! Wait, maybe I’m thinking of a Panther. Or a Puma. Regardless, Bobcats ain’t housecats. Furthermore, if this report is true, something has to be done to ensure the safety of our children, pets, and garbage cans.
First, let’s get the “facts”.
At approximately 5 pm last night, a post went up on one of the 3 main social media pages in Silverton. A resident who shall remain nameless posted the following: This is not a joke. This one was huge. Just saw a huge Bobcat in the parking lot of Action Pest Control!!!
The pest control place, in case you are not familiar with Siltown, is on Hooper Avenue, near the corner of Kettle Creek Road. So Bobcat, or any wild cat for that matter, would have easy access to the rest of town with a quick stroll through the woods and backyards along Kettle Creek. That or risk death by going the wrong way and ending up on Hooper. I’m not sure how well the inner GPS workings of a Bobcat are, other than their thirst for blood.
Unfortunately, this compassionate and potentially lifesaving post was, as most posts are on Silverton socials, met with scorn, disbelief, and mockery. Some folks scoffed it off as a raccoon or overfed housecat. Others wondered how convenient it was that a wild animal was lost in the parking lot of the exact type of company that would be used to capture or otherwise incapacitate them. Meanwhile, others just made cruel jokes. I must admit, I had a zinger in there as well. However, then I began to wonder. What if it were true? How would our community handle it? I mean, I love it here, but let’s face it, Silverton has a hard time agreeing on things like speed bumps and dog parks. How would we handle a real problem like a potential invasion from these fur monsters????
After doing some research, I found a couple of interesting facts of my own.
First off, New Jersey has a Bobcat Fact Sheet, that you can check out for yourself here. Next, according to this fact sheet, the 2-foot Bob is larger than a housecat, but much smaller than a cougar or lion. (I have a separate story on Silverton Cougars for later in the year). Furthermore, Bobcats are endangered in New Jersey. There are very few of them left, and most are in the Northern regions of the state.
Meantime, I was right about one thing. Our Silverton Bobcat needs to avoid Hooper Avenue, or any street in town for that matter. In 2019 alone, 15 Bobs were killed by automobiles in New Jersey. Those are not good numbers for an endangered species! Finally, I found out our state officials have a recovery plan for the NJ Bobcat. It’s to ensure it survives in our state for another hundred years. Heck by then we might all be in flying cars and the cats won’t have to worry about getting run over!
So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if there’s a herd of Bobcats in Silverton or not. Because just like the rest of us here, they’re just trying to not become extinct. I’m guessing they’re not fans of the cracked sidewalks either.