The authorities are claiming the animal above is “obviously” a bobcat. A large, grey, mountain lion shaped bobcat:
Rumor has it there’s a mountain lion roaming the area around the UConn Health Center in Farmington. Employees in an office building there snapped a picture of a large animal that was said to be just outside. The picture was circulated in the office and on Facebook and conjecture ensued.
“It’s not a mountain lion. It’s a bobcat,” said Farmington animal control officer Charlene Rogers, who had seen the picture.
“Bobcats live in our area, especially in the UConn area and there has been a family denning there for at least 20 years,” Rogers said.
The sighting was reported to UConn Health Center police as well.
Officially, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection maintains that there are no mountain lions living in Connecticut.
In June and July of 2011, mountain lion sightings were confirmed in Greenwich and in Milford, where a mountain lion was ultimately hit by a car and killed. DEEP reports say that the rash of sightings in southern Connecticut was of the same animal, which had traveled more than 1,500 miles from South Dakota.
“The confirmation of a wild mountain lion in our state was the first recorded in more than 100 years,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty at the time. “This is the first evidence of a mountain lion making its way to Connecticut from western states and there is still no evidence indicating that there is a native population of mountain lions in Connecticut.”
Except of course the constant sightings of them. I’m not sure why the authorities are so interested in denying cougar existence but having lived in CT I can tell you it’s got a strange culture. I worked an before and after school program in Middletown, CT while getting my Masters. One morning as I was coming into work there was a young buck going nuts in the school yard trying to find a way out. Eventually it jumped the fence. The school told kids, even ones that were eye witnesses, that it never happened. I never found out why it mattered to them that kids didn’t now about a deer in the suburbs, but it’s probably the same thinking that leads to this animal being classified a bobcat.
h/t Cryptomundo which has several more pictures.