60-pound bobcat turns up as roadkill

Union Leader Correspondent
June 20. 2012 11:48PM
Bobcats like this one in Paul Bolduc's backyard in Sullivan have been seen roaming around New Hampshire. Wildlife officials say reports of captures and sightings have been on the rise. (COURTESY)
KINGSTON - A 60-pound bobcat struck and killed on Route 125 last week has police warning residents to be aware the animals are in the area.

'This was the largest one I've seen in Kingston,' Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. said.

Police responded to Route 125 in the area of Landscapers Depot on June 12 around 7:30 p.m. to investigate a report of a bobcat on the side of the highway. The driver who hit the animal never reported it to the police, Briggs said.

'We've had smaller ones over the years that we've seen, but not too many of them,' Briggs said.

While sightings are unusual in Kingston and other parts of southeastern New Hampshire, the bobcat population appears to be on the rise after more than 20 years of protection, according to researchers.

The University of New Hampshire and the state Fish and Game Department are working on a study of the state's bobcat population. The project began in response to an increase in bobcat sightings and captures over the past decade.

Bobcats have been captured and equipped with radio collars to allow researchers to track their movements.

Mark Ellingwood, a Fish and Game wildlife biologist, said large numbers of bobcats are less likely in southeastern parts of the state, but they're still present.

'It's not an uncommon occurrence. It's not a surprise to us that there would be a bobcat in virtually any town in New Hampshire,' he said. 'You don't have to go far north to find a fair abundance.'

Ellingwood said bobcats pose no more of a threat to humans than a fox or a coyote.

'We don't consider them to be a great risk. They're part of our normal landscape,' he said.

Still, Briggs warned residents with pets to be aware.

'We would caution individuals to be aware that when you're in the woods, there are some large wild animals that do visit the community and they would pose a danger to domesticated animals,' Briggs said.

Briggs urged the public to report sightings by calling the police department at 642-5742.

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Jason Schreiber may be reached at jschreiber@newstote.com.jschreiber@newstote.com

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