This family had the rare privilege of seeing a predatory cat in their backyard.
Monique Soper said when they heard barking and commotion, her son, Hunter, looked out the window and started filming what they assumed was a bobcat or a lynx. After the video earned 1,900 shares on Facebook, they might finally have some clarification.
Adam Bump, a furbearer specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said the cat looks to be a Canada lynx based on physical appearance alone.
"Generally, lynx appear to have longer legs, much bigger feet, and longer ear tufts than bobcats," he told the Times Herald. "Also, while both species have a black-tipped tail, lynx have black all the way around the tip while bobcats have a white line on the underside of the tip of their tail."
Lynx became a threatened species back in 2000, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service blames largely on trapping and timber-harvesting operations, which change and damage habitat.
While there are far more bobcats in the United States, the Sopers had never seen either on their property.
"My husband (Steve Soper) has hunted countless hours on out property and he has never seen anything like that," Monique said.
However, it's definitely possible this was just a bobcat, as the video didn't show that clear of a view.
Terry McFadden, the Michigan DNR wildlife division field operations manager for the southeast region, said there are bobcats in the area, but they're more prominent farther north and in the Upper Peninsula.
"They like swamp edges, they like upland forest. We get an occasional sighting," he said. "They're pretty secretive, they're lone hunters so they like to have cover."
Regardless of whether it was a bobcat or a lynx, seeing a wild cat like this is always a treat.
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