Another sighting: Mountain lion in Scarborough? Or just a bobcat?

Earlier this week, I shared a series of trail camera photos that may have shown a mountain lion in North Waldoboro.

Those photos may also have shown something else … like a bobcat.

As we suspected, BDN readers would pay close attention to the photos, even though they were difficult to decipher. Thousands of you took the time to read the blog and dozens took the time to comment about the photos, or about your own mountain lion sightings.

At about the same time I was writing about those photos, I received an email from a woman in Scarborough who had a photo of her own to share.

A Scarborough woman snapped this photo of a large cat on her property last week. A wildlife biologist says he thinks the animal is a bobcat.

A Scarborough woman snapped this photo of a large cat on her property last week. A wildlife biologist says he thinks the animal is a bobcat.

The woman, who has asked that her name and address not be used, explained that she’d been looking for help in identifying the cat in a photo she shot, and a simple Google search for “mountain lion” turned up a story I’d written previously.

Here’s her story:

“On Friday, I encountered, with my 5-year-old son, what I thought was a bobcat,” she wrote. “He was staring us down and I made my son run into the garage. As soon as I saw he made it safely, I made a run for it.”

At that point, she snapped her photo, posted it on Facebook, and was amazed at the response.

“I had numerous people tell me, ‘No,’ it was a mountain lion,” she wrote.

The woman said what she thinks were federal wildlife officials responded after she contacted the Scarborough police.

She also said this isn’t the first time she’s seen the big cat.

“I saw this animal on my deck last August,” she wrote. “I hired a professional bobcat trapper to come here and inspect. The trapper said there was no sign of a bobcat back there.”

The woman explained that she was preparing for an outdoor party and wanted to make sure the animal wasn’t dangerous.

Unfortunately, the woman couldn’t provide a high resolution image that we could publish in a larger format. But the small image is still pretty clear.

I sent a message back and told her I was forwarding the image to a real expert., Biologist Wally Jakubas of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said he supported the woman’s initial assessment.

“It looks like a bobcat to me,” Jakubas wrote. “The vegetation behind [the cat] is probably five feet high. Using the vegetation for scale, the lack of a long tail, and the proportions of the animal make the animal look like a bobcat.”



John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.