A Scarborough couple who photographed an animal that looks like a bobcat in their backyard this month says they are concerned that it may pose a threat to their neighbors’ pets and children.

Penny and Ken Kacere, who own a home and 10 acres on Spurwink Road, near the Higgins Beach Market, said they wanted to go public with the photographs to alert residents.

They filed a report with Scarborough police on May 16 but were told there was nothing the department could do unless the critter was endangering lives. They were advised to contact the town’s animal control officer.

“I think it’s a bobcat, but it could be a lynx,” Penny Kacere said Thursday. She said the animal is not a mountain lion, which has a long tail. The one they saw had a extremely short tail.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says bobcats are common in all but northwestern sections of Maine. They are reclusive animals and are rarely observed in the wild. Deep snow will force bobcats closer to towns and homes in search of food.

Adult male bobcats weigh 20 to 30 pounds and average 3 feet in length. The state says it is difficult to distinguish between a bobcat and a lynx.

Penny Kacere said her husband used his camera to photograph the animal through a window of their home as it approached their outdoor hot tub on May 16. “He stopped and looked at us,” she said.

On May 25, the couple’s motion-activated game camera, which had been mounted on a tree, captured another image of the bobcat as it raced past the rear of their home. “We’ve lived here for 19 years and we’ve never seen one before,” Kacere said.

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