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Mountain Lion or Bobcat?

Bob Bedard's photo of a very big cat has Montville Patch Facebook friends wondering! DEEP wildlife biologist takes a look and says, 'Bobcat, no question.'

 

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! 

Chris Lawton February 06, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Why all this emotion, worrying, and photo analysis over a bobcat? I have had, fox, coyote, fisher, bear and bobcat on my property in Oakdale. They are all harmless and will avoid conflict, as long as they are healthy.
Kris Peterson-Browning February 06, 2013 at 07:44 PM
I saw it 2x over the Summner and no one believed me!
Ellyn Santiago (Editor) February 06, 2013 at 07:45 PM
I think we were all just wondering, chatting! Not sure anyone was worrying! :) And I just asked a wildlife biologist to chime in ...just to see. :)
frances sylvia February 07, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I found this very interesting.
Bob McCoy February 08, 2013 at 02:13 AM
I added a size comparison chart and two verified cougar photos. The two photos show how hard size is to estimate. They are both of full-grown cougars. An interesting experiment for Mr Bedard is to lay an 8' 2x4 in the grass where the cat was standing, pound a 3' stake a couple of inches into the ground, and then take a picture from his original location. Overlaying the images will give an idea of the size of the pictured cat, which I agree is a bobcat.What appears as a long tail is really a shadow on the hind leg. In western states, 80% of mountain lion sightings do not involve a mountain lion.

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