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Nature’s Witness: Triple Charm

Three bobcat kittens lounge in a treetop, waiting for mom.

  • Photograph by Karine Aigner
  • PhotoZone
  • Oct 01, 2018

FROM THE RELATIVE SAFETY OF A TREE-TOP PERCH, three bobcat kittens pass the time, waiting for mom to return from a hunt. Photographer Karine Aigner had heard that this family was denning under a ranch house in arid south-central Texas. With the owners’ permission, she set up a camouflaged blind, hoping to observe the cats from a respectful distance. “When I first arrived, the mother came out to drink some water,” recalls Aigner. Karine Aigner Headshot
“We looked at each other, and that was it—the beginning of summer love.”

For three months, Aigner documented the clan, pleased to be ignored as the cats went about their lives. The kittens would often spend entire nights sleeping in the tree, waiting for their mother to return with a meal of rabbit or rat. As the kittens aged, the mother would release live prey in front of them, perhaps a lesson in how to hunt for themselves. “It was a learning experience for me,” says Aigner. “This wild animal let me in and trusted me enough to hunt in front of me. I think she knew it was safe.” For viewers, Aigner hopes this image can be a lesson in coexistence.

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

Nature's Witnesses »
NWF Certified Community is the Cat's Cradle »
An Epic Battle of Two Bobcats in a Tree »
See Last Issue's Nature's Witness »

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