Bob Wesley of Trumbull spotted this creature in his backyard Friday. He lives on Calhoun Avenue.

Wesley wonders if it is a bobcat or a lynx.

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the bobcat is the only wild cat found in Connecticut and the most common wild cat in North America.

Its status has changed dramatically in our state. Historically, bobcats were not protected in Connecticut and were viewed as a threat to agriculture and game species. The state even had a bounty on bobcats from 1935-1971. By the early 1970s, a large increase in the value of bobcat pelts raised concerns that the population could be overharvested. In 1972, the bobcat was reclassified as a protected furbearer in Connecticut with no hunting or trapping seasons.

Based on observation reports submitted to the Wildlife Division by the public and others, bobcat numbers appear to have increased in Connecticut in recent years. Sighting and vehicle-kill reports indicate that bobcats now reside in all eight Connecticut counties. However, the heaviest concentrations occur in the northwestern corner of the state.

The bobcat is a stout-bodied, medium-sized feline, with a short, “bobbed” tail (about six inches in length), prominent cheek ruffs, and tufts of black hair on its pointed ears, DEEP says. The sides and back are generally the same color with faint black spots; grayer in winter and tan in summer. The underparts are white. The tail may have one to several indistinct dark bands and a tip that is black on top and whitish below. Adult males typically weigh between 18 and 35 pounds and measure from 32 to 37 inches in length. Adult females typically weigh between 15 and 30 pounds and measure from 28 to 32 inches in length.