A hungry bobcat spotted in Coquitlam this week was likely looking for his next meal, says a B.C. wildlife expert.
Jocelyn Buchart of WildsafeBC told the Tri-City News an image from a video taken by a local resident, who then posted it to social media this week, is likely that of a bobcat.
The creature was probably hunting for food when it was spotted on Robson Drive — about a block east of Pinetree Way in New Horizons.
The neighbourhood is described as a generally flat area on the northeast side of Coquitlam with a mix of condos, townhomes and detached homes, some of which back on to a greenbelt.
Sharon Stevens, a Port Coquitlam resident, saw the big cat after leaving church on Sunday (June 19).
Why was it most likely a bobcat?
The post started an online debate about whether the animal spotted walking across the street in broad daylight was a bobcat or a lynx.
The two species look very similar, therefore making it hard to distinguish which member of the cat family it is.
However, Buchart explains to the Tri-City News it was most likely a bobcat as lynx tend to stick to more northern and eastern areas of the province, not the coast.
When enhanced, she said the image provided a brown, spotted coat resembling that of a bobcat whereas lynx are more of a grey colour.
"Lynx have longer back legs which makes their back arched whereas bobcats have relatively flat backs," Buchart adds.
"In the photo, the back of this animal is pretty flat. The tail of a bobcat is longer than that of a lynx and again judging by the photo, the tail doesn't look as short as a lynx. Lynx have longer ear tuffs and it's hard to tell in the photo, but the ear tuffs look quite short."
According to Buchart, the bobcat was likely out searching for food — including house cats and other small animals like rats and squirrels.
"It's not uncommon to see bobcats in the area," Buchart said.
Meanwhile, a photo taken of a bobcat hunting prey in Squamish last Friday (June 17) has received a lot of interest.
The Squamish Chief, sister publication of the Tri-City News, posted the story this week in its online edition.
WildsafeBC offers information about species, safety and other wildlife concerns on its website, including tips on Wildlife Photography Ethics.
To date, the organization has reported four known bobcat sightings in the Tri-Cities.