Title Image

Title Image


This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cougar or Bobcat

That is the question.  Whoever said there is no such thing as a dumb question was wrong.  This was a dumb question.  It is a bobcat with 100% certainty, but that doesn't stop some ignorant people from making the opposite argument.  Reading the comments will make your brain hurt, so don't do it on a July 4th hangover. Not sure why the Chronicle didn't do 10 seconds of reporting and talk to a mammalogist.  It is not like there is a lack of mammalogists in the area, but maybe this is part of the "lamestream" media's obsession with there being two sides to every story even when one side is demonstrably false just so that they cannot be accused of a liberal bias.


UPDATE: See clarification in comments


  1. Ha, yea, that is a pretty obvious one! Just out of curiosity, I showed the pictures in the article to my 4 year old, and asked him as broadly as I could "what's that?". After letting me know it was a cat, he promptly clarified "bobcat!". No mammalogist needed ;).

  2. That is awesome that he already knows that! I should clarify that the question by the original observer was not stupid, as not everyone is knows the difference. That was completely understandable. The stupid part was that a newspaper asked the question and put it up for debate instead of just answering the question.

  3. Wow....

    Not to steal any thunder from your post, but funny that this was forwarded to me today (see below). This was a "Letter to the Editor" from a local newspaper, and its sort of in the same vein as your post above (i.e., people are sort of dim when it comes to wildlife).

    I was going to post it on my blog, but it seems appropriate to keep these together, as they are similar in topic and came out pretty close to each other!

    Stupidity comes in so many formats (questions being only one of them)! ;)

    "Wild coyotes

    July 02, 2011 9:15 PM

    On behalf of all the chickens, guineas, wild turkeys, cats and dogs that have been mauled in my neighborhood and especially the young lady that was attacked in the RDU area last week, I’d like to know who was behind the repopulating of wild coyotes in North Carolina and how much tax money went into the effort. I don’t think Weyerhaeuser is putting out wild bears, foxes, coyotes, etc., on their land for the warm fuzzy feeling in their heart. The whole operation stinks like new money. And just how many people in the Pungo River Basin knows how many pairs of mating rattlesnakes were released there last year. A game warden was heard to say 5,000 pairs and that plans were in the works for this area also.

    Maybe the educated powers that be should stop and ask why our ancestors started shooting coyotes 150 years ago around here to the point of extinction? The answer was our children and our livestock."

  4. That is a pretty incredible e-mail Trailblazer. The "new money" comment is pretty bothersome too. It is pretty amazing that people could actually believe this stuff. I like to always recommend Don Coyote by Dayton O'Hyde to the coyote haters out there. He was a Montana rancher who came to understand that coyotes actually benefited his ranch. Check it out if you have not read it.

  5. I know, right? "New money".....yikes.

    Plus...5,000 pairs of rattlesnakes?? I wonder if there are 10,000 rattlesnakes in the state....period....let alone a random 10K that can be casually dumped in the Pungo River Basin!

    You can't even discuss things with folks that are this poorly informed!