When you look toward the tree outside your window, you might expect to see a squirrel or even a small bird perched on one of its branches, but certainly not a bobcat.
The wild cats are relatively rare in northwest Calgary—and maybe even more elusive than the Canada lynx—so when local resident Amy Mitchell noticed one sitting in the tree in her backyard, she started snapping photos.
“It was pretty cool. You don’t see that everyday,” she told Global News earlier this week. “It was twice the size of a cat and was just sitting on the tree soaking up the sunlight.”
She said that the bobcat sat in the tree for about an hour before it climbed down and slinked away.
It’s easy to mistake a bobcat like this for a Canada lynx, but a bobcat’s paws are more proportional to their bodies, their ear tufts are a little smaller, and their coats are usually darker and more mottled. They also tend to be slightly smaller than lynx.
Mitchell told reporters that it’s not the first time the cat has been noticed in her neighbourhood—it’s also been spotted by a few of her neighbours, who think the animal is sticking around because of the ponds nearby.
That’s why Mitchell wanted to warn people living in the area to keep a close eye on their pets. But according to Mark Pulsifer, a wildlife biologist on the east coast, it’s not something pet owners should be too concerned about. He says they’re not likely to target a pet, though they may go after birds hanging around feeders—they are cats after all.
If you do spot a bobcat hanging out on your property, just keep your distance and enjoy the opportunity to see such a shy animal. Pulsifer told the Cape Breton Post that he’s been a biologist for 28 years, and he’s only seen three bobcats in all those years.