Originally posted by groingrinder
It is definitely NOT a Bobcat, or a Maine Coon Cat. Anyone who has actually seen either one of these knows that instantly. It is far
too large for either one and it is the wrong color as well. It looks like a cross between a native Cougar and an escaped lion.
Maine Coon Cat
First off, we don't have a good scale for the photo. To my eye, it looks about the size of a medium dog. Large for a bobcat, definitely too big for a
housecat - and it's too muscled to be a housecat anyway. As for coloration, the Lynx species, including bobcats, have a high amount of variation in
Now regarding the lion / cougar crossbreed idea... No. First off, neither species are native to Maine. While it's plausible, if not probable, that
the eastern subspecies of the cougar is still extant in Maine, the odds of them happening across a lion (and living) are pretty far out. Then we have
the problem that the two species aren't related, beyond both being felines. The cougar (Puma concolor
) is related to such cats as the
jaguarundi, kodkod, ocelot, and the extinct "american cheetah" - a group of South American cats removed from both the large cats (Panthera
and the small cats (Felis
) by a sizable margin. The lion is a large cat - Panthera leo
. Unrelated to the cougar beyond
being a feline carnivore.
To shorten it down, saying a cougar and a lion had a litter together is about the same as saying humans can produce offspring with bush babies because
both are primates.
On the other hand, both the bobcat and Canadian lynx have ranges in Maine. The creature in the photograph is a stocky-bodied creature with a thick,
rough coat, and what appear to be cheek ruffs - qualities represented by most species of Lynx
. If we had a better-quality photo, I'm almost
certain we would see ear tassels and spots.
If you really need to go crypto on this cat, somebody's escaped / released Eurasian lynx fits the bill almost perfectly - large, well-muscled, tawny
fur, stocky but sleeker than the Canadian lynx, and generally less of a plush coat. I'm still putting my cash to one of our domestic Lynx