In 1867, four companies of the Sixth Cavalry were dispatched to establish a fort in the northern part of western Texas, its mission to protect settlers from Comanche raiders. Originally named Camp Wilson, the name was later changed to Fort Griffin and the remnants of the fort’s buildings are the main attraction at what is now known as the Fort Griffin State Historic Site.
At least they were the main attraction until earlier in the year when that billing was taken over by a family of bobcats. Visitors started seeing a mother bobcat and her two kittens near the fort’s reconstructed powder keg hall, and that’s when park rangers realized the bobcat family had turned the renovated building into their den. They then set up cameras to capture the comings and goings of the young bobcat family, and the results were a series of four videos that provide a glimpse into the lives the protective young mother and her playful kittens.
Typically, Texas bobcats den in hollowed out trees or rocky outcroppings. This family chose the fort’s reconstructed gun powder store room, probably due to it being set off a bit from the sites other buildings. The renovated hall is sealed from the public by a barred door, similar to a jail cell door, and the park rangers believe this offered the kittens some protection from the larger predators in the area; notice that even the mother bobcat has to contort her hind quarters to get through the bars and into the old hall.
The historical site has produced several videos but these are the four that first caught our attention…
Fort Griffin Bobcats – Part 1
Fort Griffin Bobcats – Part 2
Fort Griffin Bobcats – Part 3
Fort Griffin Bobcats – Part 4
Lone Star Chronicles – Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Fish