BROOKFIELD, Conn. — Maybe it should not come as a surprise in Brookfield: A resident recently spotted a wild bobcat — the mascot of the town's high school — in a neighborhood yard, according to the Brookfield Police Department.
The bobcat was seen on Ironwork Hill Road, police said in a Facebook post.
According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the bobcat is the only wild cat found in Connecticut. Bobcats are about two to three times the size of their distant relative, the domestic house cat.
Based on sightings reported to the Wildlife Division, their numbers appear to be increasing in Connecticut.
Bobcats rarely cause conflicts with human, DEEP said. They infrequently kill livestock, especially fowl, and attack domestic cats.
Bobcat attacks on people are extremely rare. Bobcats are not a significant vector of disease and rarely contract the mid-Atlantic strain of rabies.
A bobcat is a stout-bodied, medium-sized feline, with a short, bobbed tail that is about 6 inches long, prominent cheek ruffs, and tufts of black hair on its pointed ears.
The bobcat is grayer in winter and tan in summer, with white underparts. The tail may have one to several indistinct dark bands and a tip that is black on top and whitish below. Adult males weigh 18 to 35 pounds and measure from 32 to 37 inches in length. Adult females weigh 15 to 30 pounds and are 28 to 32 inches long.
Bobcats eat rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles, white-tailed deer, birds, and, to a much lesser extent, insects and reptiles. They also prey on domestic animals, such as poultry, small pigs, sheep, and goats.
Bobcats are most active just after dusk and before dawn and are secretive, solitary, and seldom observed.
The DEEP Wildlife Division records bobcat sightings and documents the number of bobcats hit and killed by vehicles on Connecticut roads. Sightings can be reported to the Wildlife Division at email@example.com or by calling 860-424-3011.