Afternoon stroll results in a unique sighting

Monique Chiasson
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Afternoon stroll results in a unique sighting

INDIAN BROOK - April Maloney always thought there would be a day she'd come across an interesting find while walking.
The Indian Brook resident was recently walking with her sister along Brownflats Road mid-afternoon when the duo spotted a large animal they could not identify.
"I assumed it was a bobcat but they don't have a long tail like this animal. Then I thought maybe it was a cougar," said Maloney, who estimates she was about 60 feet away from the animal.
"I take my camera with me just in case I see something interesting. It was my first unique sighting and if it's a rarity I want to share it with people. If it's not a cougar I'd like to know what it is."
After looking at a copy of Maloney's picture, Jim MacNaughton, a forest technician with the Department of Natural Resources, based in Bible Hill, said the animal appears to be a feral cat.
"I'm leaning towards it being a feral cat, which is like a house cat gone wild," said MacNaughton. "It doesn't appear to be a bobcat because it has a long tail, although there are occasional mutations, and because of its colouring."
He said most bobcats are grey/brown in colour whereas this animal has light brown and rings on it.
MacNaughton said it's not all that common to see feral cats in the area.
"We don't see a lot of wild cats around here. It's the first one I've seen and haven't heard about others here," he told the Truro Daily News.
If someone does come across one, he said, it's best to treat it as a wild animal.
"Don't run from it, be calm," he said.
That's exactly how Maloney reacted during her sighting.
"I wasn't afraid. My sister was ready to get rocks (to throw) ... she was nervous but I wasn't going to go back because of it," she said. "I just took the picture before it walked off ... I wasn't scared and I love seeing new things."

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, Truro Daily News

Geographic location: INDIAN BROOK, Brownflats Road, Bible Hill

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Recent comments

  • mistress mud in your eye
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    nat resources will never admit the could be cougars in nova scotia...my mom was a hunter in northern ns many years ago,,and can across one,,,game warden said there was not cougars in the province....she knew what she had seen....

  • Michelle
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    The tail is too long
    Hind Legs are not that of a domestic cat
    Look at the muscle in his body
    Head is shaped like a mountain lion.

    Only way to know for sure is to examine the paw prints.

  • Sarah
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I'm no expert but there's no way that was a feral cat. Just because a cat is feral, they don't suddenly double in size. It has to be a cougar, and yes, we do have them in NS.
    As for the songbirds, there's more predators out there than just housecats. They'll survive.

  • Willie
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I agree with Sherri... are we not seeing what looks more like a cougar than any domestic gone wild. It is wheat in color and I can;t imagine the photographer thinking my what a big house cat ......it looks more cougar than any other explanation. The head looks quite small also.

  • Ruby
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    When you look at this animal.It is long .It reaches over across from the side off the road to around the center part.It looks like a cougar to me.
    Not the right shape for a cat gone wild.
    Nor the colour.
    Maybe cross bred with a linx or bob cat.
    Nice picture.

  • Sherri
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Am I the only one who thinks this looks like a cougar (mountain lion)?

  • Michelle
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I would not dismiss this as NOT being a cougar. I have known dogs to be killed by cougars here in Pictou County (Merigomish area) and one jumped across the highway in front of my truck in '97 in New Brunswick. Clear as day! I agree... looks like a baby mountain lion. Has noone studied the paw prints??? Where baby is... mom should be close. Still, the prints should clarify.

  • Jared
    January 18, 2010 - 10:07

    That is very interesting. People have to be careful as they can be quite violent.

  • Countrygal
    January 18, 2010 - 09:52

    Wow. If that's a feral cat it's a big sucker! My housecat is huge but he's nowhere near that big. Great picture.

  • Sam
    January 18, 2010 - 09:50

    I dunno ... I can't see the cat in the picture that well but it doesn't look like a domestic cat gone wild to me. We've got a few house cats and none of them look as lean and muscular as that kitty does.

  • Roger
    January 18, 2010 - 09:42

    Sam: When a cat has to fend for itself and can't afford the luxury of lying around all day, being lean and muscular would help it survive.

    Many people have commented to me about the size of my cat. Although fixed and has to do little more than meow for food, he is quite lean and strong. Despite being lean he still tips the scales at 11lbs.

  • chief wiggam
    January 18, 2010 - 09:41

    seems as though mrs.maloney was a cool cat when it cam to this ferral cat.

  • Darrell
    January 18, 2010 - 09:37

    Nothing unique about roaming housecats hunting and killing at will. There should be laws requiring them to be kept home as with dogs. Millions of songbirds are killed every year thanks to these roaming pets. Look at the puddles and the rocks, the cat is too small even for a young bob cat, it is a killer though. Please keep your pet housecats home people, pretty please.