Trapper finds rare melanistic bobcat on Christmas Day. It's only the second to ever be discovered in Canada!
Oswald McFadden has been running the same trapline for the last ten years near Cocagne, New Brunswick, Canada. Out of all the animals he's snared, never in his wildest dreams did he think he'd be finding a black bobcat, on Christmas Day no less.
Melanism is a development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin or its appendages. It is the opposite of albinism, often seen in squirrels, jaguars, and domestic cats.
It is an extremely rare occurrence in bobcats, however; according to a paper published in 1995, only one other known melanistic bobcat has been recorded in Canada, and that was in 1983.
In terms of North America, there have only been 10 other melanistic bobcats found, all in Florida.
"I thought it was a house cat," said McFadden. "When I saw the tail I knew it wasn't a house cat. Then I looked at the ears, I knew it was definitely a bobcat."
McFadden is so far unsure what to do with the animal. He contemplated donating it to a museum, selling it, or having it mounted for himself.
He received offers worth $1,000 from buyers looking to purchase it. He was also offered guided elk hunts in exchange for the rare and unusual find!
Photos Courtesy of Shane Fowler/CBC