The Enigmatic Bobcat of Connecticut
Connecticut Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn, who presented a fascinating program on black bears to a capacity crowd last April, returned to Noble on October 28 to introduce an equally large group to Connecticut’s only wild cat, the bobcat. Numbering between 1,500 to 2,000 in the state, the beautiful, tawny bobcat (Lynx rufus) with the distinctive bobbed tail, thrives in forests with nearby wetlands.
A pure carnivore, the bobcat is equipped with keen senses of sight and hearing and is an extraordinarily patient hunter, Colburn said. Posing no risk to humans, bobcats subsist primarily on voles, squirrels, and other small rodents, but will take small dogs, domestic cats and poultry if the opportunity presents itself. And, despite its relatively small size, the male standing 32” to 37” at the shoulder and weighing around 35 pounds, the female slightly smaller, bobcats have been known to take down full-grown deer and even beaver, having no aversion to water.
Bobcats are elusive creatures and are most often seen while crossing roads. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection asks that sightings of bobcats (as well as bears) be reported via their website, www.ct.gov/deep/bobcat.