A bobcat was recently sighted in the area of Concord Road in Dracut.

The town and the animal control officer are aware of a bobcat living in the area for at least the past three years.

Bobcats generally do not approach humans, and seeing one during the daytime is not an indication of a disease like rabies (unlike, for example, raccoons.)

TIPS FOR RESIDENTS

Bobcats are well-adapted to a variety of habitats, such as mountainous areas with rocky ledges, hardwood forests, swamps, bogs, and brushy areas near fields. Bobcats deal with human influences but tend to avoid areas with extensive agriculturally cleared lands that eliminate other habitat types. Bobcats are adapting to suburban settings and may be seen in backyards and residential areas. Bobcats rarely cause conflicts with human activities.

TRACKS: Bobcat tracks may sometimes be confused with the tracks of domestic housecats although adult bobcat prints are larger than a house cat. Bobcat tracks have four toes in the front and back although the front foot actually has five toes. The fifth toe is raised high on the forefeet so it does not leave an impression when it walks. The claws also do not leave an impression, as they are usually retracted.

PROTECT LIVESTOCK AND CHICKENS: Bobcats may prey on small livestock and chickens. Avoid pasturing animals or placing coops in remote areas or in areas near heavily wooded cover. Pen livestock in or near a barn at night. Keep chickens within secure pens or coops. Electric fencing may be used as a deterrent.

MISIDENTIFICATION: Bobcats are the only wild cat in Massachusetts. For information about mountain lion (cougar) reports, visit mass.gov/dfw/mt-lions

Click here to download “Living with Bobcats” a guide from MassWildlife

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