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Sudbury area bobcat sighting becomes internet sensation

A northern Ontario family never expected such a huge response after posting a video of a recent wildlife encounter on TikTok.

Maria Larcher's video of a young bobcat was posted two days ago on social media; and as of Thursday, it has had more than 52,000 views.

She lives in the Azilda area of Greater Sudbury and told CTV News in a phone interview that her family noticed unusual tracks in the yard last week in the snow.

Then on Sunday, they spotted a young bobcat on their deck. It was sunning itself on the patio in a spot where the snow had melted, giving Larcher a great view of the wild feline that she describes as being almost the size of a "bigger house cat."

She said there has been much discussion online about whether the animal is a bobcat or a lynx.

Morgan Kerekes, a spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, confirmed to CTV News in an email that the cat in the video appears to indeed be a bobcat.

Ontario Fur Manager Federation's website said bobcats' legs and ear tufts are shorter, feet are smaller and less furry and its tail doesn't have a full black tip as a lynx does. It also said the animal's usual mating season is between February and April and by fall, the young are able to fend for themselves.

"Based on the spots on the back of its ears, black colour only halfway down its tail and the overall brownish colouring that is consistent with bobcats," Kerekes said.

"Although they are quite elusive, bobcats have been seen in the Sudbury area in the past."

Larcher said they have seen the bobcat every day since Sunday.

While several people have suggested calling an animal rescue group, she is going to let it be for a few weeks. Larcher said her only concern is when the lake thaws, it might have a hard time getting back to the bush.

"Just seeing something like that is so serene," she said.

@mclarcher So…Once again!! Nellie decided to stop in for a visit!! So majestic! #northernontario #mnrf #sudburyontario #bobcat #lynx #inmybackyard ♬ original sound - mclarcher

Kerekes said homeowners should consider using motion-sensing lights for all walkways to avoid a conflict with a bobcat and keep dogs leashed.

If you encounter a bobcat, Kerekes said:

  • Never approach the animal, especially if it’s near a kill or with young.
  • Never offer it food.
  • Do not run. A cat’s instinct is to chase.
  • If you’re with others, stay together and act as a group.
  • Face the animal and talk firmly while slowly backing away.
  • Always leave the animal an escape route.
  • Do not crouch down or try to hide, instead try to appear larger.
  • Do not take your eyes off the animal or turn your back.
  • If the animal does not flee, be more assertive by shouting, waving your arms and throwing anything available. Top Stories

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