Video: Bobcats in Wilton

Tony Inch, who lives on Heather Lane in south Wilton, sent The Bulletin this photo of a bobcat in his backyard. He writes, “After seeing two doe deer fleeing across my backyard, I was watching to see what was chasing them. I suspected a buck. Thirty seconds later I saw the first bobcat. He/she was in no hurry but was following the path the deer took. I took photos and videos which is when I saw that there were two bobcats. They followed the path the deer took until they were out of my sight. Very exciting to watch them.”

Here is the video Tony shot.

Bobcats have become more and more common in this area. So much so, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is planning to launch a population project specifically for bobcats that could start as early as this year.

“We averaged 75 sightings through the late 90s and then that number went up to around 115 reports, back about 10 years ago,” said Paul Rego, a DEEP wildlife biologist. “It’s been a pretty steady increase over the past 20 years.”

Besides sightings in nature, Mr. Rego said, DEEP has gotten more reports about bobcats getting struck by vehicles and more calls about them attacking pets, specifically cats.

However, he added, “bobcats tend to be shy and they don’t typically approach another animal if a human is around.”

According to Peter Reid, the assistant director at Wildlife in Crisis in Weston, one reason for the apparent population increase is that bobcats have been moving their dens closer to humans to avoid contact with predators such as coyotes.