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I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Bobcats, servals, lynx, margay, anything smaller than a cheetah

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tracyb
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I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby tracyb » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:19 pm

I came across your forum when researching the black bobcat on the internet, and after reading many of everyone's posts on here, I thought I would ask a question to any one of you experts out there! I live in the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada and have seen this "cat" twice. I have a small, white Bichon Frise dog, who I take outside of my apartment building to go to the bathroom at night around 11:30 p.m. to midnight. The spot where I take my dog is beside the side of a hill (mountain side) which is covered in large pine trees, other trees and bushes and we live in a hot, dry climate. I hear rustling in the bushes whenever I go out there and always take my flashlight, but the other night I saw it right through the chainlink fence, staring straight at me and my dog, and I kept my flashlight on it the whole time, and it didn't move. It definitely was not a cat; it was at least double the size of a cat, completely black, had a bobbed tail, and little bit longer of a neck than a cat. The other time I saw it was in the daytime and my daughter said, "hey, look Mom, there's a black cat". And, I looked briefly, but didn't pay too much attention. We also have 2 does, 1 buck and 2 fawns (about 3-4 months old) that live in this area. I am not sure if this is relevant or not. I was going to call a Conservation Officer and have them come out and see if they can see tracks or something of this bobcat, as I am very scared that it will take out my dog. I don't want the animal injured, of course. But, I am also thinking that they will think that I am nuts for even saying that I saw such an animal in our area. All of the research I have done so far has said there have been only 12 such animals caught and they were in the Florida area, but it also says they have been seen in Southern Canada. Can anyone please offer their expert opinions? Thanks very much.
Nicophorus
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby Nicophorus » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:15 am

What exactly is your question? You are wondering if it could be a melanistic bobcat? I suppose so, though the only ones I've heard about have been in central Florida like you say.

That is where I live and I have a neighbor that swears she saw one jump my fence and scatter my goat herd once in broad daylight. I've seen plenty of regular color bobs but never a black one. They DO exist though in at least the central FL population.
tracyb
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby tracyb » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:02 pm

Yes, I guess my question was if anyone has heard of them in southern British Columbia, as I have read some very vague things on the internet saying that they exist in southern Canada, but didn't specify where.
tracyb
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby tracyb » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:03 pm

I guess my other question is that from the description that I gave, does it sound like a bobcat, as I am not familiar with them at all? Thanks
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Ash
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby Ash » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:02 pm

You should carry a camera with you when you go outside. Then maybe you could get a pic. ;)

Have you seen any regular bobcats? If you haven't seen other bobcats in the area, chances are it probably isn't a bobcat you're seeing. There can be some really big normal cats out there. It's pretty rare to see something as elusive as a bobcat. It would be extremely rare if the only bobcat in your area was melanistic.
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby sarajeku » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:32 pm

It doesn't sound like a bobcat to me. I have a regular housecat, that was born with a bobbed tail, that looks VERY much like your everyday, spotted bobcat (save for her socked feet). Ash is right, if this is the only bobcat you see, it's not a bobcat. I live in a very rural area where they are incredibly common, and I have seen only one in over a year.

Here's what a melanistic bobcat looks like. Does it look like this?
Image
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tracyb
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby tracyb » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:48 am

It was at night when I saw it, but it definitely looked like that. I have researched the heck out of it, and all of the pictures that I have looked at have looked like exactly what I saw. That is also why I was going to get a conservation officer out to maybe check for pawprints, as I think they would be able to tell from the size of them, wouldn't they (if they can find them!)?
Nicophorus
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby Nicophorus » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:40 pm

If you have some sandy or bare dirt areas, check it a day or two after some good rains and you will see all kinds of tracks clearly that way and know what is in the area.

I think thankfully the resident bobcats have left my immediate area as mostly I just find possum and raccoon when I check tracks these days.

I don't think a bobcat is going to mess with a dog that is at least as big as it. In coyote/bobcat interactions, the coyotes dominate. Bobcat will take house cats, small dogs, and ALL game/domestic prey up to and including adult deer.
macmanmatty
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby macmanmatty » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:03 pm

I have seen a melanistic bobcat here a couple times in North West Florida. I have also seen MANY regular bobcats (I have gotten with-in 10 ft of one would have gotten closer but then got to thinking it might be rabid). I have also seen a long tailed bobcat (like that of a panther) yes it was a bobcat.
tracyb
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Re: I have a question re: Melanistic Bobcat

Postby tracyb » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:24 am

Thanks to everyone for your responses, I appreciate it very much. I will try to get a picture and contact a conservation officer to come and check out the pawprints and see if they have heard of any bobcats in the area. I just moved to this area of the city (the outskirts), so don't know what kind of wildlife is in this part. I will just continue on with my research, but grateful for your comments.

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