DANVILLE, Vt. — A Vermont resident recorded an unusually close encounter with what they believe was a black bobcat recently.
Bobcats that are black in color are called melanistic bobcats. Sightings are incredibly rare, with fewer than 20 cases that have ever been documented, according to a CBC article posted in recent years.
Melanism is defined as an “an increased amount of black or nearly black pigmentation (as of skin, feathers, or hair) of an individual or kind of organism.”
Bobcats, in general, are “rarely seen” in Vermont despite being a very common species, officials with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department say.
“The main reasons for the lack of bobcat sightings are twofold,” an informational posting from the group reads. “It is solitary by nature and it is crepuscular, or mostly active at dawn and dusk.”