Last Update: 12/21/2006 3:31:52 AM
Cortland (WSYR-TV) - You'll usually find them in the Southern Tier or up north, but here in Central New York, you normally don't see bobcats.
Their population is growing in this area and the DEC needs your help finding them.
Underneath a silky sun, walking through a Scroungey Trail, is where you'll likely find a bobcat. The problem is, most people don't.
“Bobcats are a species that haven't been common, they've been really uncommon in Central New York for the past 100 years,” says Mari Kautz of the DEC.
Kautz is DEC Regional Wildlife Manager for region seven, and says there have recently been a number of sightings, ranging from Cortland to Madison Counties, and all points in between.
“A few from Onondaga County and Oswego County, primarily those are the places where we're getting credible reports,” says Kautz.
One of the most recent sightings was along John Glenn Boulevard. Apparently a driver spotted a bobcat dead on the side of the road.
Researchers aren't sure why there's so many bobcats coming into our area, it could be a number of things like migration, some of them could be moving up from Pennsylvania.
But when it comes down to it, Marie Kautz says there's nothing to worry about. The cats are pretty much harmless. They're more afraid of you, than you are of them.
“Just seeing it eye to eye and face to face up close and personal, it's a thrilling experience and generally people are excited to see this animal,” she says.
The DEC will start its field research sometime next month.
It's illegal to hunt bobcats in our region, region seven. If you've seen one, you're asked to call the DEC at 607-753-3095 ext. 247.