Bobcat in Port quite a show

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Martin Coveney saw plenty of animals wandering along the north bluff of the town of Port Washington – countless deer, a pair of coyotes and a red fox “he’s practically a pet he hangs out with so much” , did he declare.

But just after 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, Coveney had quite a show and quite a photo.

“We see a lot of wildlife in this area, but this is the first bobcat I’ve seen,” he said.

Yes, a bobcat, wandering north along the Lake Michigan bluff in a residential area just north of Upper Lake Park.

Luckily, Coveney had his long-lens camera nearby and was able to take several photos of the cat, who stared at him for a moment, “then moved away, but not particularly in a hurry,” he said. he declares.

“What a beautiful animal,” Shawn Rossler, a furbearer biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said after seeing one of Coveney’s photos. “That’s a great sighting. If you see a bobcat you should consider yourself lucky as they are very elusive.

Bobcats are not uncommon in Wisconsin and have in fact been spotted in all parts of the state, including major metropolitan areas, Rossler said.

“Their range and distribution has expanded tremendously,” he said. “They are found statewide in southern, central and northern Wisconsin, and have been seen in Milwaukee and Madison.”

But few people can say they’ve seen a bobcat in Port Washington.

The one photographed by Coveney appears to be of average adult height – 20 to 30 pounds, Rossler said.

Bobcats, which like other wildlife have little to do with humans, pose no threat to humans, Rossler said, but they do help control the population of small mammals by using their hunting skills to catch rabbits, squirrels, mice and voles.

Cats usually live alone.

“Bobcats are generally solitary animals, especially males,” Rossler said. “If you see multiple bobcats together, it’s usually a mother with kittens less than a year old.”

Just because a bobcat has been seen in Port Washington doesn’t mean it has made the town its home.

“It may have just passed or it could become a resident bobcat,” Rossler said. “The shoreline of Lake Michigan could be a corridor.”

The bobcat sighting comes just weeks after the Port Washington Common Council approved a wildlife management plan that focuses for now on coyotes — not how to manage their numbers in the city, but how teach people to coexist with them.

“There’s no real practical way to remove them,” Jon Crain, the city’s director of parks, forestry and landscape, told aldermen last month. “We want to make people aware that coyotes are with us and how best to deal with them.”

The plan is a response to a number of coyote sightings in the city as well as an incident in January in which two women were confronted by a coyote in Rotary Park. The animal, visibly sick, was killed by the police.

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