The head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control unit is urging Waveny visitors to bring a hazing tool with them after two reported bobcat sightings in the popular park this month.
A bobcat crossed in front of a jogger’s path at Waveny on Nov. 20, following an initial sighting reported on Nov. 8, according to Officer Allyson Halm. It’s a good idea at Waveny to have a hazing tool of some kind, mostly because of coyotes, she said.
“Bobcats are fairly elusive and not really a concern but I have to assume their breeding season is approaching, so maybe that’s why they’re on the move. When you are out on the trails by yourself have some sort of whistle or air horn. I encourage people to have walking sticks, and just make yourself ‘loud and large’ to frighten the animal away.”
Bobcats pose no real threat to humans, though they will prey on domestic cats. According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, bobcats’ prey includes rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, white-tailed deer—typically young or injured—birds, and, to a much lesser extent, insects and reptiles.
They breed between February and March, and one to four kittens generally are born in a litter in April.
New Canaan two breeding seasons ago—in early 2016—had a string of bobcat sightings, including on Dogwood Lane on the west side of town.
Officials long had believed that New Canaan had two bobcats: One that travels the Ponus Ridge corridor on the western side of town and another in the area of Gerdes Road. In September of 2014, a bobcat kitten was seen on Deep Valley Road, and Animal Control officials predicted at the time that the town would see more of them.
Seldom seen, they’re most active after dusk and before dawn, and bobcats make dens from which they may travel up to four miles per day.