Rare bobcat sighting in Sault Ste. Marie's east end
A Sault Ste. Marie woman captured photos and video of a rare bobcat sighting in her East End residential neighbourhood Monday at the height of mating season.
Jennifer Sarlo told CTV News in an email she saw the wild cat -- which is a close relative of the lynx -- in her yard on Oak Park Crescent around 7 p.m.
Bobcat sitting on a rock in a yard of a home in Sault Ste. Marie's east end. March 20/23 (Jennifer Sarlo)
"It spent over a half an hour sitting on some rocks and watching for wildlife," Sarlo said.
"Lots of black squirrels around here and chipmunks!"
Ontario Fur Managers Federation said bobcats from Michigan and Minnesota are expanding their ranges north into Ontario recently.
"The bobcat’s range now completely surrounds Lake Superior," the fur managers' website said.
"This species is not found as far north as the lynx because it lacks the large, snowshoe-like footpads, which give the lynx mobility on snowy terrain."
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Some of the features that distinguish a bobcat from a lynx are the shorter legs and ear tufts, smaller and less furry feet and a tail that is white under the black tip.
Bobcat walking along Sault Ste. Marie windowsill. March 20/23 (Jennifer Sarlo)
Lauren Tonelli, the general manager of the Ontario Fur Managers Federation, said while it can be hard to differentiate between the two animals, the wildcat captured in the photos and video is a bobcat. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry also confirmed the animal to be a bobcat.
"While bobcats are not quite as common as lynx in this part of Ontario, this is still part of their known range," Tonellis said.
"That's a very exciting video that someone captured!"
Bobcat hanging out in the yard of a Sault Ste. Marie home in the city's East End. March 20/23 (Jennifer Sarlo)
Sarlo said she was struck by how unique its markings are.
She posted about the sighting on social media warning her neighbours to keep their small animals inside and her video has nearly 2,000 views in less than 24 hours.
Bobcats typically measure between 29 to 49 inches long and weigh between 15 and 28 pounds, the fur managers said.
While they mainly depend on rabbits, bobcats also eat other small animals and birds.
Last year around this time, a bobcat sighting in the Sudbury area became an internet sensation.
A family in Greater Sudbury captured video of a young bobcat sunning itself of their patio. (Maria Larcher)
There have also been a few northern Ontario lynx sightings that have also captivated audiences.
Lynx spotted in the drive-thru of an A&W in Cochrane. Jan. 12/23 (Emily Lamarche)
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