Wild Animals/Pic of cat?

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Question
Cat
Cat  

Cat 2
Cat 2  
I work in Rocky Hill, CT and there are woods across from our building. I was outside and noticed a cat of some kind digging in the grass. This was last May 2012. I'm still mystified on what kind of cat this is. It almost looks like a tiger cat, but really big. There are no homes around here, so I think it's living in the woods. Unfortunately my phone camera didn't pick up a very clear pic since it was a distance away. Any thoughts?

Answer
Dear Darlene

Thank you for your question and photographs. I alsowish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_of_Connecticut#Cats_.28Order_Carniv says the only species of wild cat that definitely lives in Connecticut is the bobcat, although there is a remote possibility that the cougar may exist in northern Connecticut, while the Canadian lynx may have lived in the state in the past. I have looked at both photographs and I reckon that they show a domestic or feral cat.The second picture is definitely not a bobcat and is the wrong shape for a cougar.I'm sorry to disappoint you. Last year, there was talk about a lion living in Essex, but it turned out to be a big domestic cat (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/26/lion-on-the-loose-in-essex). It is quite easy to misidentify animals. I know I've done it several times.  

All the best

Jonathan

Wild Animals

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Jonathan Wright

Expertise

I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

Organizations
WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Publications
Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

Education/Credentials
BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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