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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, August 12, 2013

While a Puma did in fact wander some 1500 plus miles from the Dakotas two years ago to end up dead on a Connecticut highway, the "cat" snapped on Route 67 in Oxford(Ct) was a Bobcat..............As you look at the picture below you can see why the untrained eye might see a Puma..................., In fact, the increasingly common Bobcat was indeed the animal in the photo.............Note that if you look closely, you can see the short "bobbed" tail, telltale sign of the "Bob"

Large, Wild Cat Spotted in Oxford Not a Mountain Lion, DEEP Says

People who have seen it locally say it looks an awful lot like a mountain lion, while DEEP says it's not possible.
This photo was taken by a woman who works on Route 67 in Oxford. It was taken behind her office. Contributed
This photo was taken by a woman who works on Route 67 in Oxford. It was taken behind her office. Contributed

People in Oxford have seen an animal several times that looks a lot like a mountain lion.

Every day it makes the same trek up and down Route 67, behind B&B Insurance Group and Jesse's Barbershop. Nobody has been able to capture a photo, until this week when Carissa Beaulieu of B Insurance Group snapped the one above.
To me, that looks a lot like a mountain lion, and several people agree. But Paul Rego, a wildlife specialist for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, disagrees. He says it's a bobcat.

Here is what he wrote in an email to me:

The animal in the photograph is a bobcat.  We have no tangible evidence of mountain lions occurring in Connecticut.  If Connecticut had a population of mountain lions then we would have verifying evidence such as photographs, specimens from road-kill or other mortality, unambiguous tracks, etc.

I can't tell too much more from the photo.  Size is hard to judge unless something of known size is also in the photo for comparison.  The sex is difficult to ascertain without physically examining the animal. Bobcats are found throughout the state, so one being observed in oxford is not surprising.
The cougar killed on the Merritt two years ago.  It was an extremely rare, and record, long-distance dispersal from the far Midwest.  It is highly, highly unlikely that that event has been repeated.  Most dispersals are very much shorter.

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