“I was about to leave, but I spotted something crossing the ice”: Photographer’s Drone Captures 3 Adorably Comfy Wild Bobcats Chilling

Sure, photographing wildlife has a lot to do with the skills and the equipment you have, but it’s also a matter of timing and luck. After all, you gotta find the wildlife first!

But, every once in a while, people catch a break, and this particular photographer from Duluth, Minnesota was lucky enough to find a pack of bobcats chilling around the St. Louis River. Actually, they were so chill that they didn’t mind the drone snapping pics left and right, the footage of which later went viral online.

It’s not every day that you can stumble upon bobcats chilling in nature

Meet Mike Mayou, Duluth-based photographer and videographer, with whom Bored Panda got in touch for an interview. Mayou liked photography from a young age, and got into DSLR photography within the last 5 years, picking up drone photography and videography along the way.

And Duluth seems like the perfect place to do photography with all of its amazing scenery. So, Mike was out on a photography adventure, as he likes to call it, in hopes of finding a nice area to catch the sunset peeking through the clouds. Well, the sun didn’t end up making an appearance, but a group of bobcats did!

And it’s even rarer to stumble upon 3 of them, like Mike Mayou did on his hike through the wilderness

“I was about to leave after exploring the area around the river, but I happened to spot something crossing the ice. After flying a drone over to investigate, I discovered that there were three bobcats venturing together!” explained Mayou.

He elaborated that it was quite a breathtaking experience, so he turned on his camera for the time he was around them. However, not wanting to disturb them, he spent just a few minutes droning around them and got enough footage to make an everlasting impression on the internet.

Mike initially wanted to get a snap of the sunset, but once his drone went flying, he saw bobcats wandering around

The pictures and video soon found their way onto the internet, where they became an instant sensation. People have started liking the footage on Mike Mayou’s Facebook post, collectively garnering around 10,000 reactions across the pictures and the video, with the video on YouTube breaking the 50,000-view threshold.

Soon after, it got picked up by a number of news media outlets where hundreds of thousands of people got a chance to see the wild bobcats being oddly comfortable with being photographed.

So, he flew in with the drone to get a closer shot of the adorable trio

The pictures feature three adorable bobcats who were about to cross the St. Louis River. While Mike was filming and photographing them, the trio is seen wandering about at the scene, not sure whether to be cautious, curious, or calm. Actually, based on the footage, it seems like it was all three.

“I wasn’t particularly nervous about the potential for one of the cats to attack the drone because, in the moment, I thought I was far enough away from them and tried to give them some space,” explained Mayou. “After looking into the ethics of drone photography around wildlife, I realized I may have actually gotten too close to the bobcats for comfort, and looking back, I would not have gotten as close as I did. If the behavior of the animal changes, the drone is too close.”

Surprisingly, the cats were pretty relaxed about a drone flying around, though also curious as cats can be

Surprisingly, the cats were pretty comfortable with having a drone fly around them—something you’d probably not expect from a wild animal who just witnessed a very intrusive piece of technology. But Mike’s drone wasn’t around them for long enough to become a nuisance.

“I stumbled upon this magical experience, so I was nervous that I might not have captured some of the moments that I saw through the eyes of my drone”

As mentioned by many other wildlife photographers, including Beaumon Day, who recently took a snap of a wild owl that landed on his colleague’s photo lens—a story Bored Panda covered here—photography is pretty challenging, and Mayou seconds that:

“I think the most challenging part of taking the photos and video was that I stumbled upon this magical experience, so I was nervous that I might not have captured some of the moments that I saw through the eyes of my drone.”

But it turned out extremely well and the pics and video soon went viral on the internet

But the footage turned out spectacular, proving one of the most unique glimpses into the lives of bobcats. And the internet agreed by making it go viral, which came as a huge surprise for Mike:

“I thought maybe a few hundred people in the Duluth area would think it was interesting, but it far exceeded that. I’m glad that the cats could bring so many people joy during this time of year, especially in the midst of a pandemic.”

Besides the pics found above, you can check out the video of the drone footage below

You can see more of Mayou’s photography on his website as well as his Instagram. But before you go, let us know what you thought of this. Have you ever had a chance to meet a wild bobcat and take a picture of it? Let us know in the comment section below!

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