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Bobcat in Boston?

Bobcat in Boston?

This morning, as she often is, Mary Ellen McMahon was walking her dog Jax along Sawmill Brook, which runs along the northern edge of Millennium Park, when she spotted a cat in the marshes. A really big cat. As big as 45-lb. Jax, she reports.

A young bobcat, perhaps? In any case, a good reason to start leashing those chihuahuas and yorkies.

She adds:

It didn't move while I took photos. I walked away and it started to move. When I peeked back, it saw me and froze again.

Bobcat?
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Voting closed 48

Especially considering all the coyote/wolf stories, interesting to see a wild cat report.

However, in that first photo, the cat appears to have a long tail. Don't bobcats have short tails (by definition)?

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... but not tiny. 6-8 inches is not uncommon.

The coloring looks weird to me, for a bobcat; usually they're more mottled for camoflage.

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Or a mix? It does look like a bobcat, the color's not bad, but maybe a feral Maine Coon. They get huge and have big tails.

[ed] On second thought, probably not a Maine Coon. It would have a lot of fur sticking out of all kinds of odd places like ears and footpads. Can't really see much of that. Tail is not right. They have huge tails.

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It's rear is shifted to the right of the frame. The base of its tail is on the other side of a blade of grass from its haunch. The white fluffy end of its tail is a few inches away, curled towards the front. That's a very short tail, shorter than the tail on a seven pound housecat.

Given that the bobcat is the only widespread wild cat in Massachusetts (there have been a handful of mountain lion sightings, but they have very long tails, longer than their legs), this has to be a bobcat.

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Can bobcats and house cats mate?

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There are lots of stories, little genetic evidence.

Example: When I was growing up, one of my cousin's barn cats had a litter of large kittens that were particularly aggressively feral and sported shortened tails. These were said to have been sired by a bobcat. Was that true, though? Who knows, but legends like these persist.

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a description of Lizzie Warren, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

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Like me, she has the genetic evidence consistent with the family stories.

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And actually that seems consistent with SwirlyGrrls story. The local bobcat population got very low years back. It is similar to Coywolves. If fact, the eastern coyote has interbred with timber wolves several times dating back to colonial times. That's why they look different than western coyotes.

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her statement today. Fraud

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Tell me, do you hate her because she's a woman, or because she's smarter than you? Or is it more of a combination of the two?

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Cultural appropriation was the actual problem. She acknowledged this harm and dealt with it. The interesting part is that Trump thinks this has hurt her. When in fact, she hasn't lost any ground since it was brought up in her first senate race.

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You need to go hang with the other farm animals, you're creating an appalling stench.

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The tail isn't long ... the bobcat is scooting down so the tail is about right. It's a bobcat alright.

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during the craqzy winter storm in 2015 a buddy and I we driving down eneking parkway and were at the 4 way stop sign and saw what we though was a lost german sheppard, but the other guy at the stop sign drove up to us and we asked if his dog jumped out of his car window.... he said that aint no house dog. it was in the middle of the street because the snow banks were about 6' high. we got a look at it and and the thing was legit a wolf ( i guess a coywolf) and it trotted twards turtle pond and we followed it until it found an opening in the banks, went into the woods and crouched on a rock and watched us. we flipped a b*tch and stopped and starred at it. we tossed it some snacks out the window but i wouldnt move again. pretty crazy

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...do not feed wild animals. Ever. Anything. It is always ultimately harmful to them and sometimes to people as well.

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jogging once and I believe it was a coy wolf that crossed the trail right behind me as I just happened turn and see it. enormous. either it was a coy wolf, or an actual wolf, but it looked to me just like a wild wolf and not a coyote, the latter I have seen a lot of prior. this was in 2012. whatever huge not-dog form it was, it was not interested in me thankfully.

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Its body is turned so you're seeing the entire tail not just the tip.

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in MEOW!

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Cool to have one in the area!

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Quite a cat! Nice photos!

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Bobcats have camo fur, even the young, lots of spots. Their ears are also more pointed with small tufts of fur sticking out of the tips. They are predominantly nocturnal. So I would have guessed that this isn't a bobcat. But it sure looks big enough!

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I have now, happily, looked at several pictures of bobcats. They're not all terribly spotty.

For example, this golfer-chomping villain from Connecticut:

IMAGE(https://www.nydailynews.com/resizer/P0_nq40NOoEGYSUfUL5cY2Kos74=/800x558/top/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-tronc.s3.amazonaws.com/public/GOJOUTQ2MNEOVDQZCBDMIQOGPY.jpg)
https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-conne...
Looks pretty similar, just a little more tabbyish.

Or this proud feline, from Maine:
IMAGE(https://media.newscentermaine.com/assets/WCSH/images/557502243/557502243_750x422.jpg)
https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/local...

Looks a bit bigger, but even less spotty. Notice the lack of ear tufts, but presence of furry jowls, on this one. I'm guessing it's a tom.

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Sometimes variations become adaptations if such lighter coloration allows them to operate in different environments (grass vs woodlands, for example) or hunt better over the winter.

Bear in mind that much of their prey is gray-blind.

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Mary Ellen, perhaps you should share the photo with Mass Audubon, or Fish & Wildlife?

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they'll tell you it's not a bobcat or mountain lion.

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Or puma. Or cougar. Or catamount. WAY too small, both vertically and horizontally. Besides, there haven't been any mountain lions inside Massachusetts in a couple of centuries.

I have two Maine Coons -- there's no Coon Cat there.

As noted before, I think it's a bobcat whose coat is genetically different from most.

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playing in town this weekend?

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Screaming when they mate.Creepy.

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it probably is not, but it might be F2 or F3.

I think that is either bred with a mountain lion, which seems not plausible because 1) mountain lions don't exist in Mass except when they do, and 2) a mountain lion would probably devour the domestic cat after banging it--or, it is a "Savannah" cat

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I had an "Atlanta" cat.

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You can't register as a Savanah without the spots. It is Serval Hybrid. If you look at all the images of Bobcats available, this cat is well within the range.

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it has a fairly recent serval ancestor and is not registered

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or its a bobcat.

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That color morph is called Goldthwait.

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The bobcats which I and others saw in West Roxbury where Georgetown is now, looked similar to that one but usually has some stripes like a tabby and or some spots. They weighed between 20 and 25 pounds or possibly a little more. Some (not all) had very short bob tails. I never saw any after Georgetown was built so I assumed that they moved north toward Turtle Pond and the golf course.

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