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Video: Bobcat lands salmon in Olympic National Park

A bobcat fishes for salmon in Olympic National Park. (Lee Snook)
A bobcat fishes for salmon in Olympic National Park. (Lee Snook)

An Olympic National Park ranger captured the above video of a bobcat fishing for salmon this month.

Lee Snook, a Port Angeles-based ranger, captured the video during a break she was taking for a hike near the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.

“I wanted to get pictures of the snow and salmon,” Snook told the Tacoma News-Tribune. “I’m brand new to the park and I’ve never seen that.”

Here's the rest from newspaper's report:

Armed only with a camera phone, she took a walk on the Spruce Nature Trail. She paused at a bridge.

“I was looking for fish and something caught my eye,” Snook recalled. “It was a bobcat staring at me from across the river.”

After a moment of inspection, the bobcat returned to the fish.

“She was there for the same reason as I was,” Snook said.

The ranger shot video of the cat perched on a log, tracking a sockeye salmon in the creek, wrestling with the fish and finally carrying it away.

“It’s as big as she is,” Snook said of fish and cat.

She figures she watched the cat for 30 minutes. The cat didn’t seem to mind.

“I wasn’t being aggressive. I just stood there and watched,” she said.

The rangers who work at Hoh were aware of the bobcat but had only seen glimpses of the normally shy cat.

“They were just in awe,” Snook said of her colleagues. “I was told just how lucky I was to have gotten that.”

Snook said the offseason is a great time to visit the park. Fewer people means seldom-seen animals are more likely to be out.

“Take a minute to slow down, take a look around. You never know what you’re going to find,” she said.

After posting on the park’s Facebook page, the video has had more than 2 million views.

 




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Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.