Ancient Native Americans May Have Had Pet Bobcat

Aug 30, 2015


By Tia Ghose

A 2,000-year-old burial mound discovered in the area that’s now Illinois contained the remains of a young bobcat, new research reveals.

The ancient bobcat was wearing a special collar and was found in a ritual burial mound normally reserved for humans.

“It really looked like it had been buried not because it was a feral accessory for a human, but because it was, in some way, kind of respected on its own,” said study co-author Angela Perri, a zooarchaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

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2 comments on “Ancient Native Americans May Have Had Pet Bobcat

  • @OP – It’s still a mystery exactly why the ancient bobcat — which was about the size of a large, full-grown house cat — was buried with the care and effort typically afforded to humans.

    But the simplest explanation is that ancient people had bonded with the animal. Bobcats, especially at a young age, are extremely cute and easy to tame, Perri said.

    If they kept dogs, this is not too surprising someone may have tried to keep a cat.

    “It’s quite possible they found the bobcat either orphaned, or they killed the mother and they took it home and attempted to raise it,” Perri said.

    The team was planning to analyze chemicals in the bones to learn more about what the ancient wild kitty ate and where it came from. But, because the governor of Illinois is planning to shut down the Illinois State Museum, where the remains are housed, the researchers may not get a chance to do any further analysis, Perri said.

    Ah! Political educational priorities!!

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  • Political educational priorities!

    Illinois’ finances are in an iron lung. Governor’s 2016 budget plan tries to resolve the 4-6 b. deficit gap. So naturally, important things (museum) with paltry yearly expenses (6 million) is on the chopping block. Idiot.

    (Illinois origin comes from the French rephrasing of native American tribes in the area. Imagine, a once thriving city of 10K at Cahokia, plentiful wildlife, and a state covered in prairie flora).

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