Bobcats thrive at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico but are rarely seen. Mostly nocturnal, they use stealth and excellent night vision to hunt small mammals in darkness. Bobcats are usually tawny with darker spots and streaks on their body and legs, and light-colored undersides. They have short black tufts on their ears and a ruff of longer fur on their face. The kittens may look like ordinary house cats, but they quickly grow to twice the size of domestic cats. Photo by National Park Service.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States where black bears can live in wild, natural surroundings. Bears inhabit all elevations of the park – with an estimated 1,500 bears living in the park. Bear cubs are usually born in the winter and emerge from their dens in late March or early April. Bears can run 30 miles per hour, can swim very well and are good tree climbers like this baby bear pictured here. Bears can live 12-15 years or more, but animals that have access to human foods and garbage have a life expectancy of only half. Do your part by using the park’s bear-proof dumpsters and disposing of all garbage properly. Photo by Sidney Cromer (www.sharetheexperience.org).
What did one marine mammal say to the other? “That’s the sealiest thing I’ve heard!” 😂😂
Happy Friday all! Photo of a Hawaiian Monk seal by Mark Sullivan, NOAA.
Happy Labor Day! Thanks to all of the hard workers, especially our Interior employees, who make our country great. Enjoy a nap. We hope you sleep as well as this bear cub at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Photo by Charlie Choc (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Energetic carnivores, long-tailed weasels spend most of the daylight hours scouring grasslands, pastures and saltmarsh for prey. Their slender heads and bodies allow them to enter burrows in search of mice, voles, snakes and large insects. The sharp teeth, keen eyesight and scrappy character of long-tailed weasels make them highly skilled predators, able to catch animals bigger than themselves. In mid-summer, whole families of weasels may be seen as males and females teach their young to hunt. Photo from Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming by Tom Koerner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Happy National Dog Day! Out on the trail or curled up on the bed, we love our four-legged friends. At Denali National Park in Alaska, sled dogs are important members of the team. Here’s Tephra, a 9-year-old Alaskan husky working her last season before she retires this month. Photo of Tephra posing with fireweed by Miles Leguineche, National Park Service.