Bobcat in Port quite a sight

Port Washington man treated to what expert calls ‘a great sighting’ of an adult bobcat as it strolled along the city’s bluff just north of park Sunday evening

AN ADULT BOBCAT estimated to weigh between 20 and 30 pounds stared directly at Port Washington resident Martin Coveney as he photographed the cat on the city’s Lake Michigan bluff just north of Upper Lake Park around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 3. The bobcat had no interest in the duck yard art and, after pausing briefly, “sauntered” off to the north.
Ozaukee Press staff

Martin Coveney has seen plenty of animals  walking along the City of Port Washington’s north bluff — countless deer, a pair of coyotes and a red fox “that is practically a pet he’s around so much,” he said. 

But just after 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 3, Coveney got quite a sight and quite a photo.

“We see a lot of wildlife in this area, but this is the first bobcat I’ve seen,” he said. 

Yes, a bobcat, strolling north along the Lake Michigan bluff in a residential area just north of Upper Lake Park.

Fortunately, Coveney had his camera fitted with a long lens nearby and was able to take several photos of the cat, which stared at him for a moment, “then sauntered off, but not in any particular hurry,” he said. 

“What a great looking animal,” Shawn Rossler, a furbearer biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said after seeing one of Coveney’s photos. “This is a great sighting. If you see a bobcat, you should consider yourself lucky because they are very elusive.”

Bobcats are not rare in Wisconsin and in fact have been spotted in every part of the state, including major metropolitan areas, Rossler said. 

“Their range and distribution have expanded quite a bit,” he said. “They’re found through the state, in south, central and northern Wisconsin, and have been seen in Milwaukee and Madison.”

But not many people can say they’ve seen a bobcat in Port Washington.

The one photographed by Coveney appears to be of average adult size — 20 to 30 pounds, Rossler said. 

Bobcats, which like other wild animals want little to do with humans, don’t pose a threat to people, Rossler said, but they do help control the small mammal population by using their hunting skills to catch rabbits, squirrels, mice and voles.

The cats usually live alone.

“Bobcats are generally solitary animals, especially males,” Rossler said “If you see multiple bobcats together, it’s generally a mother with kittens that are less than a year old.”

Just because a bobcat was seen in Port Washington doesn’t mean he’s made the city his home. 

“It might have just been passing through or it could become a resident bobcat,” Rossler said. “The Lake Michigan shoreline could be a corridor.”

The bobcat sighting comes just weeks after the Port Washington Common Council approved a wildlife management plan that for now focuses on coyotes — not how to manage their numbers in the city but how to teach people to coexist with them.

“There’s not a real practical way to remove them,” Jon Crain, the city’s parks, forestry and landscape director told aldermen last month. “We want to make people aware that coyotes are present with us and the best way to handle them.”

The plan is a response to a number of coyote sightings in the city as well as an incident in January in which two women were confronted by a coyote in Rotary Park. The animal, which was clearly sick, was shot by police.


Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login