I found this on our local news and it interested me because we've had one of these guys come to visit us (the cat, not the utility worker) Also tomorrow, I'm going to an orientation for volunteer work with large cats.
In the wilds of Wauchula, Peace River Electric Cooperative utility workers often come across wildlife.
A squirrel on a pole here, an osprey perched up there. Maybe an opossum resting in the shade of a transformer box.
"We've found some things out there," said utility spokesman Mark Sellers. "Once we had a transformer blow out, and we found a fish on top of it. Apparently it was dropped by an osprey or hawk."
A few weeks ago, utility worker Eddie Bailey was traveling near the town of Ona in Hardee County when he spotted a furry thing parked on top of a wooden utility pole. Bailey recognized the beast as a Florida bobcat.
The tawny, intense cat looked down with typical feline aloofness, and Bailey was perplexed as to what to do.
You can't just climb up the pole and shoo the animal off. After all, aren't they kind of ornery?
The odds of a scenario like this playing out aren't that slim.
"Bobcats are about as rare as blades of grass in Florida," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse.
"They are very common, and they conceal themselves well," he said.
"They are seen all the time in the Tampa Bay area, down to Sarasota and on to Venice," he said. "People often misidentify them as panthers."
Florida bobcats have longer tails than people might think, are tall and lanky and usually are rust colored, but sometimes they are gray.
"We get reports of bobcat sightings on a daily basis," he said. "Most people are kind of shocked to find out that the species does pretty well around urbanized areas."
To make sure the Ona bobcat made a safe getaway, the electricity to the pole that served as his perch was turned off, and then Bailey and other workers left the area to give it a chance to get down.
A short while later, workers returned to find the feline had descended the pole and disappeared, apparently unharmed.