GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The sight of a large undomesticated carnivore in one’s yard might frighten some.
But Laura Peterson was determined to make a new friend last Wednesday afternoon.
“When I realized it was a bobcat, I ran inside to grab my camera,” the Greenburgh resident, who lives on Winding Road Farm which has an Ardsley PO box, told Daily Voice.
“I started shooting pictures as I followed it. It stopped and sat to look at me, and I said ‘hello’ to it. I tried to get a better angle for a close-up, and it decided to move on.”
Peterson’s sighting is among a handful seen by local residents on Oct. 1. Ardsley Village Manager George Calvi said Ardsley Police Chief Emil Califano made him aware of a fuzzy cell phone photo an officer took of the bobcat that day in Louis Pascone Memorial Park, at the eastern end of Ashford Avenue.
“It looks like a nice healthy bobcat,” said Calvi. “This entire area is chock full of deer, raccoons, chipmunks, turkey and other things a bobcat might dine upon.”
A few days later, he found out the employees from the highway department also spotted a bobcat in the same area munching on a woodchuck on Oct. 1. Calvi believes that everyone saw the same bobcat that day.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, a bobcat is twice the size of a domestic cat and can weigh more than 30 pounds. They are solitary animals and are traditionally found in the Adirondack, Catskill and Taconic regions.
NYSDEC Spokesperson Wendy Rosenbach that is it rare to see a bobcat so far down south, however it isn't unheard of.
“I’ve even heard of them in Yonkers," said Rosenbach. "We do have more of a population in Dutchess County and up north. They are beautiful creatures so when you do see them its neat."
Peterson, who has lived in the area for about 51 years, recalls a tie when the area was much more rural.
“Bobcats were around, although rare, back in the day,” said Peterson. “It's nice to see we haven't completely driven them away.”
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