Big cat prints seen in Og­den

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Vic­to­ria Vanier Og­den

Ear­lier this month, a res­i­dent of Og­den found some in­ter­est­ing tracks on his forested prop­erty. “The tracks were about four inches wide and there was thirty inches be­tween the tracks. They went straight for about three hun­dred feet,” said the Og­den res­i­dent who sent in the pho­tos to the Stanstead Jour­nal but wished to re­main anony­mous.

“They couldn’t be dog or coy­ote tracks be­cause you don’t see the claws, and only cats have re­tractable claws,” he added.

Be­liev­ing the tracks, which came as close as four hun­dred feet to his home, to be those of a big cat, the res­i­dent showed them to Eric Jac­card, a bi­ol­o­gist with the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Wildlife. “Af­ter look­ing at the pho­tos, the bi­ol­o­gist be­lieved that the tracks were def­i­nitely made by a big cat, more specif­i­cally, by a bob­cat, oth­er­wise known as a lynx rufus,” he com­mented. The lynx rufus is some­times con­fused with the Canada Lynx. Be­cause the har­vest­ing, hunt­ing and trap­ping of these an­i­mals was pro­hib­ited for about fif­teen years, their num­bers have in­creased in the Town­ships. They are pri­mar­ily ac­tive at night and pose no threat to the hu­man pop­u­la­tion.

“I’m not at all wor­ried about the an­i­mal,” said the Og­den res­i­dent who has horses and goats. “I’m a na­ture lover so I’m im­pressed. I think it’s mar­vel­lous that we have such a lot of wildlife in this area and another sign that the for­est is of good qual­ity,” added the man who has had prob­lems with poach­ers in the past, his rea­son for want­ing to keep his name and ad­dress out of the ar­ti­cle.

An Og­den res­i­dent found these large cat tracks on his prop­erty ear­lier in the month,

at first be­liev­ing them to be that of a cougar be­cause of their size (four inches) and the length of the strides (30 inches).

A bi­ol­o­gist who saw the pho­tos be­lieved they were made by a bob­cat.

Pho­tos cour­tesy

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