Bobcat stalks a deer statue in Shelton yard

Shelton resident Marianne Chaya took these photos of a bobcat in her White Hills back yard on the evening of Sunday, March 31. The bobcat was stalking a deer statue in the yard.

“At first I thought it was a cat,” Chaya said. “Then I thought, ‘No, that head is too big.’”

She said the bobcat would hop and stop, and hop and stop, while keeping its eyes on the statue. “It wasn’t running, but was more like a hop — like you’d see in a rabbit,” she said of the bobcat’s movements.

Photos taken from enclosed patio

The photos were taken from inside an enclosed patio. The photo where the bobcat is looking at the camera occurred after banging on the glass to get the bobcat’s attention.

“I find it funny that he thought he was going to eat that statue,” Chaya said.

The bobcat eventually got bored and moved on, walking back into the woods.

Last year in the early spring, Chaya said a bobcat was passing through her yard on a regular basis. She said a plentiful supply of wild rabbits likely was the reason. “It was the feeding route,” she said.

She has seen fewer wild rabbits this year, and this was the first sighting of a bobcat in her yard so far in 2013.

Bobcats tend to avoid people

Teresa Gallagher, Shelton’s conservation agent, said bobcat sightings are common in Shelton although the animals tend to avoid people. “If you open a door and a bobcat is there, it will run away,” she said.

Bobcats also are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night, so daytime sightings are unusual.

Gallagher said seeing a bobcat stalk a deer statue, like in the White Hills back yard, was unique.

Bobcats in this area seem to be getting bigger. A dead bobcat that was found on Route 8 in the downtown Shelton area weighed an estimated 50 pounds, which is much larger than usual.

Gallagher said springtime can be an active time for wildlife in Shelton, as animals — from skunks to coyote — search for food after the winter season and contend with their newborn.