The big cat located in the Elsah area has been identified as a bobcat.

ELSAH - The big cat shown here was wandering around Elsah near Lockhaven Road when it was captured in this photo. Bobcats have killed several chickens, cats, and possibly other animals in that area in recent days.

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Scott Isringhausen, a park ranger with the Department of Natural Natural Resources at Pere Marquette, said he and another park representative both looked at the photo and determined this was a bobcat.

The bobcat is becoming more and more common in this region, Isringhausen said. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby, or "bobbed" tail, which it gets its name. In this region, the bobcat hunts chickens, geese, rabbits, other birds, small rodents, and deer.

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Isringhausen said the habitat by the Mississippi River and the bluffs area near Elsah is a great place to find a bobcat.

"There aren't too many reports of bobcats attacking humans, but they love to prey on chickens," he said. "If someone has chickens or small dogs and/or cats in that area, they should make sure they are kept safe."

Isringhausen said bobcats are secretive and the camouflage of their coat makes them hard to discover.

"The short white tip on the end of the tail is the best way to determine whether or not it is a bobcat," Isringhausen added.

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