It's rare enough to see one bobcat in Minnesota's wilderness, but seeing three together is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that a photographer from Duluth had this past week.
Mike Mayou was on a photography adventure by the St. Louis River when he noticed what he described as "a few creatures" moving across an ice-covered stretch of the river."
Mayou launched his drone and discovered a trio of bobcats. According to the DNR, "few humans ever see a bobcat in the wild," so this was an extraordinary moment.
"These cats were very comfortable being up close and personal with the camera, thus this footage," said Mayou, whose Facebook video has been watched more than 250,000 times, according to the Pioneer Press, in addition to more than 25,000 views on the YouTube video of the amazing encounter.
It's a good thing the drone didn't get too close because bobcats have incredible vision and once their prey is close a bobcat "seizes its victim with needle-sharp claws and teeth," the DNR says.
"Surprisingly, the bobcats were also very comfortable sitting still, allowing me able to snap a few photos along with the video I was taking yesterday," explained Mayou.
Mayou is not publicizing the specific location he saw the bobcats in an effort to keep their privacy and avoid unnecessary interactions with people. He's also aware that there are drone ethics in play when it comes to interacting with wildlife, saying he realizes he "may have gotten too close to the bobcats for comfort."
If he had the chance to do it again, Mayou says he "would not have gotten as close."