NEW CANAAN, Conn. — New Canaan has had four bobcat sightings in the past several months.
The first report came on June 10 on North Wilton Road and the other three in August with the last taking place on Aug. 18, said Maryann Kleinschmitt, New Canaan’s animal control officer and park ranger.
She is not sure how many animals there are, but she feels there is at least two because reports are coming from different sides of town including the two most recent reports: one on Aug. 15 on Valley Road and the other on Aug. 18 on Ponus Ridge. A local hunter in town predicts that there are four, she said.
“If you see one, get your pictures then because you’ll probably never see one again,” Kleinschmitt said adding that she has yet to see one.
She added that bobcats are generally seen just before dusk and before dawn, and usually stay in cover throughout the hottest parts of the day.
“I don’t feel there will be any dangerous situations,” she said.
The animals rarely cause conflict with human activities and should be treated on an individual basis, Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist for the state, said supporting Kleinschmitt’s belief.
Bobcats may attack domestic animals, however incidents with humans are unknown despite sightings being common across Connecticut.
“The biggest concern is poultry,” Rego said.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reclassified the bobcat as a protected furbearer in the 1970s due to demands for their pelts, which has helped the population increase across the state, Rego said.
Bobcats live in mixed deciduous-coniferous and hardwood forests, rock ledges, and brushy areas, according to the DEEP website. Adult males range from 14 to 40 pounds and 32 to 37 inches in length and adult females range from 10 to 33 pounds and 28 to 32 inches in length, the website said.
Rego asked that people do report bobcat sightings so the state can have a sense of the bobcat population.
Learn more about bobcats here.