Bobcat or Mountain Lion? Montville Patch Facebook page is all abuzz!
This amazing photo from Bob Bedard, taken on Feb. 1 at 8:15 a.m. in his backyard -- the Comstock Avenue and Route 32 neighborhood behind Montville Funeral Home -- shows a large cat he described as being 3 feet tall while on all fours.
Mountain Lions are bigger then Bobcats and have longer tails. Some have said the photo appears to show a longish tail.
Patch reached out to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to get an ID and information on keeping us, and the cat, safe. We emailed Dwayne Gardner, DEEP spokesman who forwarded the Bedard's images to wildlife biologist Paul Rego, the division's wildlife expert.
"Bobcat, no question," he said after reviewing the photos. He could tell by the tail length, cheek ruffs and spotting on the underbelly. (I didn't notice!) Rego said he couldn't comment on size since there is no scale reference in the photo, but indicated that bobcats are generally in the 2-plus foot range in height and can weight 40 pounds. He said the cats, Lynx rufus in Latin, will only occasionally attack domestic or family pets. But chickens, that's another story. Bobcats eat rabbits, squirrels, birds, and, Rego said, the occasional deer. Yikes!
Have you seen a bobcat? Tell us in the comments!