After trying to take pictures of bears in her yard, Melanie Hill accidentally snapped some stunning images of a bobcat that are now taking the Internet by storm.
Hill, who serves as director of communications for the WILD Foundation, set up a motion-activated camera on her property in Boulder, Colorado, to help document black bear activity in her neighbourhood. But when she checked the images, she was astonished by what she saw. “After looking through thousands of pictures of squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, deer, etc., I was beyond excited to find this series of bobcat images!” she wrote on Reddit. “I got this camera trap to document the bear activity in our yard, so I was incredibly surprised to see this regal bobcat casually stroll through!”
Though bobcats are hardly rare in her neck of the woods, she was at first skeptical of the photos: “I actually didn’t believe it was real until I saw some of the other images where it starts walking.”
And as with any popular picture of these lovely wildcats, debate has flared up about whether it’s a bobcat or a lynx. Hill even consulted with a professional from Colorado Parks and Wildlife before weighing in. “Yes, it is a bobcat, not a lynx,” she wrote. “Although it has a very thick coat, the paws are smaller, legs are shorter, and markings are more distinctive than a lynx.”
Though in this case, she’s likely using “lynx” to refer to the Canada lynx, as the bobcat is indeed one of four types of lynx (along with the Canada lynx, Eurasian lynx, and Iberian lynx).
Either way, everyone can agree that the photos are far more fascinating than trail-cam pics of black bears rummaging through residential trash.