Friday, April 23, 2010

A Belizean "Bobcat"

In all my years of camera trapping, I have never seen anything like this: a Belizean "bobcat!" Of course we don't really have bobcats in Belize, but you can hardly blame me for doing a double take when I examined these photos. The image above is actually (a crop of) one of three frames taken of a male puma (Puma concolor) missing the majority of his tail. What happened to the poor guy???

We'll never know, but I imagine he is somewhat handicapped. Pumas are swift runners that chase down their prey -- the long tail acts as a sort of rudder to balance them on tight turns. That said, this fellow looks as though he is in pretty good shape and actually appears to have a full belly.

This image was taken on the 7 April about 3PM on the Punta de Cacao Road, about 10 km from the Gallon Jug Farm. Recalling earlier comments about it being hard to distinguish pumas from one another, this fellow certainly stands alone!