Watch: Bobcat in Wilton neighborhood
Stephen Chan was reviewing images from a camera set up in his Belden Hill Road backyard expecting to see birds at the bird feeder when a visitor of a very different nature showed up. It was a bobcat.
According to the timer on his camera, Chan said the bobcat came by Tuesday, Aug. 9, around 2 in the afternoon.
The bobcat is the only wild cat found in Connecticut and its numbers have been on the rise in recent years. It was classified a “protected furbearer” in 1972.
Known for its six-inch “bobbed” tail, the bobcat has prominent cheek ruffs and tufts of black hair on its pointed ears. Ranging from somewhat gray in winter to tan in summer with faint black spots, adult males weigh between 18 and 35 pounds and measure 32 to 37 inches in length. Females are a bit smaller, 15 to 30 pounds and 28 to 32 inches in length.
Their diet is primarily small animals — rabbits, woodchuck, chipmunks, mice, squirrels — and occasionally insects and reptiles. Bobcats may also take deer, usually sick, injured, young or very old. Bobcats also prey on poultry, small pigs, sheep and goats.
Solitary animals, they are most active just after dusk and before dawn.
According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), bobcats rarely interact with people, but may kill domestic fowl and cats. They rarely contract the mid-Atlantic strain of rabies.
Bobcat sightings may be reported to DEEP’s wildlife division at email@example.com or by calling 860-424-3011.