‘Mystery Predator’ Caught Feasting on 100-Pound Deer in New York

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Wildlife officials have caught a mysterious predator in the act after it killed a deer in a resident’s driveway in New York State.

After finding the prey’s fallen carcass, the resident, from Wilmington, NY, called the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate.

“The incident was reported to DEC wildlife, with an eye-witness description of the event and the mystery predator,” the DEC said in a Facebook post. “The deer was a young female, approximately 80 to 100 lbs, there aren’t many predators in the Adirondacks big enough to take down prey that size.”

The predator had fed on the deer’s front shoulder and rump, and had attempted to cover the carcass with dirt, leaving scrape marks in the earth from its paws. The deer’s neck was also wounded, right behind the jaw, which had clearly been targeted by the predator during the attack.

Trail cam footage of the mysterious predator. Wildlife officials have caught a mysterious predator in the act after it killed a deer in a resident’s driveway in New York State.
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation/Facebook

“A DEC wildlife biologist responded to the scene and set up a trail camera overlooking the carcass in hopes of getting some video of the predator if it returned,” the DEC said. “It did return and we got some awesome video of it.”

The footage has received more than 49,000 views on Facebook, with hundreds of users offering their thoughts on the identity of the mystery predator.

“Looks like a Cougar, aka Mountain Lion, to me,” said one user.

“Looks like a lynx!” said another.

After much speculation, the DEC revealed that the predator was actually a bobcat.

Bobcat
The short, stubby tail is a clear giveaway that the mysterious predator is a bobcat.
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation/Facebook

Bobcats can be found throughout North America, ranging from southern Canada to Central Mexico. According to the DEC, bobcats occupy more than one quarter of New York State—roughly 13,500 square miles. They are mostly concentrated in the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the Taconics, in areas with rocky ledges for shelter, breeding and raising young.

However, while bobcats might be common across the state, it is unusual for them to hunt so near to someone’s home.

“It is not every day that a predator kills a deer in somebody’s driveway,” the DEC said.

The animals are twice the size of domestic cats, standing at roughly 18 inches tall and with a body length of 30 inches, according to the National Parks Service. They can most easily be identified by their short “bob-tail,” which rarely grows beyond 9 inches. Their tufted furry cheeks and ears are also distinguishing features.

When bobcats hunt larger prey, they target the throat with a single bite behind the victim’s jaw, as was seen on the deer carcass.

The bobcat in this particular video was on the larger side, as many users pointed out.

“That’s a biggun’,” said one.

“Monster bobcat,” said another.

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