Bobcat on Cactus

Bobcat on Cactus

How did he get up there? The cat who got stuck up a cactus


He’s found himself in a rather prickly situation – but at least he didn’t get eaten.

This terrified bobcat was spotted teetering on top of a 50ft cactus after running for its life from a hungry lion.

He stayed there for SIX hours, just to make sure the lion had gone, and incredibly escaped without a scratch.

Prickly situation: Bobcat is 50ft up the Giant Saguaro Cactus in ArizonaPrickly situation: Bobcat is 50ft up the Giant Saguaro Cactus in Arizona


The mountain lion that was stalking him however just circled the base, stared upwards and growled for a few minutes before giving up and walking off.

The drama unfolded on the Giant Saguaro Cactus in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.

It is an enormous plant with two-inch spikes and is thought to be up to 300-years-old.

Photographer Curt Fonger, 69, captured what happened on film.

He said: ‘A friend called me at 7am saying one of his workers had seen a bobcat being chased by a mountain lion.

Incredible escape: The bobcat stayed perched on top of this cactus for several hoursIncredible escape: The bobcat stayed perched on top of this cactus for several hours

‘It ran across the road in front of his car and climbed up a large saguaro cactus at the roadside, with the lion hot on its tail.

‘The lion didn’t pursue the bobcat up the cactus but circled the base.

‘It looked up at the bobcat, growled several times, then turned around and trotted back up from where it had come.

‘The mountain lion probably had cubs, the bobcat had intruded on its territory and she gave chase to warn the bobcat not to come close to her young family.

‘I was astonished that the bobcat was on such a high prickly perch.

‘In fact, the beautiful creature seemed quite content and was lying on top of the cactus. It only stood up when I got it’s attention.

Help! The cat clings on desperately and does not appear to have any clue how to get downHelp! The cat clings on desperately and does not appear to have any clue how to get down

‘I thought it would come down when we left.

‘But I found out later that the bobcat stayed put for over six hours before finally deciding it was safe enough to come back down.

‘When he came down he looked around and then trotted back towards the Superstition Mountains.’

Curt, from Gold Canyon, Arizona, added: ‘Although it may be common for a bobcat to escape one of it’s major predators, it is very uncommon to have witnessed such an event first hand.

‘I personally examined the base of the giant cactus after the bobcat had left.

‘There was no hair or blood – only claw marks.

‘Its a successful story of a bobcat avoided being eaten by a mountain lion with a happy ending of it’s successful exit back into the desert.’

The giant cactus is extremely rare. Just one in 1,000 seeds germinate and it then takes up to ten years to grow one inch.

Its first arm develops between the ages of 75 and 100 years old or about the time they reach 15ft.

Unharmed: Despite clambering to the top of a spiky cactus this bobcat didn't even get a scratchUnharmed: Despite clambering to the top of a spiky cactus this bobcat didn’t even get a scratch


Last updated at 2:54 PM on 24th August 2011

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  • Show Comments (8)

  • Ulli

    Beautiful story!
    But I doubt the mountain lion would have eaten the bobcat. It always bothers me when humans often assume all animals are just food to cats and other carnivores.
    From all I know the only carnivorous mammals that will hunt and eat other carnivorous mammals are orcas and polar bears. They both eat seals. It is different in the fish world.
    I am not an expert with certificate and degree, just an “Aspie” who loves to watch and communicate with non-humans (more than with humans).
    My two companion cats (feral born Maine Coon and DSH/Siamese) know exactly who is prey, who is harmless fellow night wanderer like the possums and skunks, who is not so friendly like racoons, and who is competitive fellow hunter and to better stay out of their territory like foxes and coyotes and all other cats. They will all fight aggressively and the stronger one wins but the fox or coyote would never eat the cat just like the bobcat won’t eat the Maine Coon or the Cougar the bobcat.
    Just my two cents, I generally feel that homo sapiens being a very young species is an experiment gone wrong by Mother Nature, given how disconnected humans already are from nature and source. And humans eating carnivores is the tip of the iceberg. Predators have their eyes on the front of the face, prey has eyes on the side.

  • Kristy Hanks

    Maybe this is that bobcat that goes through my parents backyard.

    • Nicole Hanks


  • Patrice Connell


  • Anna Williams

    The cactus in itself is absolutely beautiful to see – but a bobcat sitting at the top of it? Now that would be truly amazing. Love the story.

  • Totem Magic: Going MAD

    Interesting story and great photos.

  • Merry Merryfield

    Wow, let's hear it for tough bobcats!

  • Barbara Bazzone

    Thanks Merry Merryfield.

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