“Don’t go near it!” Keene State College junior and resident of the Pondside 2 apartments, Scott DeMeo, asserted while he described the bobcat he sighted about four months ago, as it matched the bobcat that was sighted last week on KSC campus.
DeMeo said he found out about the bobcat sighting this month through an email that KSC Campus Safety sent out. The email stated that Campus Safety had received two calls within several minutes about a bobcat sighting near the Pondside 2 apartment buildings off Appleton St.
The notice stated, “We have contacted N.H. Fish and Game regarding the sightings and they advise as we have, to leave the animals alone. They will respond if the animal is ill or injured or if the animal becomes a threat to safety.”
DeMeo said he first saw the bobcat the first couple weeks in September. He said didn’t even know he was looking at a bobcat. He recalled looking out his bedroom window in Pondside 2 building E and noticed a creature sitting, hanging out behind the apartment in the bushes staring at him for what felt like ten minutes. He said he thought it was a big cat, and didn’t think much of it and never reported it. When he got an email alert a couple days later that month, he said he realized what he had really seen.
“It looked maybe a little over a foot,” He said the picture of the bobcat attached to last weeks email matched exactly what he saw months ago and it was in the same location. Campus Safety said that additionally, it had been reported that the bobcat may have an offspring with her, so that may make her very territorial and increase her protective instinct. Campus Safety advises that students and faculty or anyone on campus “DO NOT APPROACH THE ANIMAL” and “Avoid any movements or sounds they may consider threatening.”
Ashlynn Cedrone, another KSC junior living in the Pondside 2 apartments, said she did not believe her friend, DeMeo, when he told her he had seen an enormous light tan cat. She said she knew before the emails about the bobcat’s existence, but once word was out she said her professors were even warning her in class. She said the students that have been talking about it in class aren’t really nervous.
She said “I think we’ve gotten other sightings over the past years. I’ve lived in New Hampshire for a few years now, so it’s not something that surprises me.”
Cedrone’s roommate in Pondside 2, junior Shannon Daley, agreed and said, “I know people who aren’t used to New Hampshire and wildlife are freaking out thinking, ‘Oh my god there’s a bobcat on campus that’s going to attack me,’ but a majority of my friends are from New Hampshire or near here so they’ve seen bears and wildlife all the time, so it’s not so scary.”
All three students living in Pondside 2 said they have not seen any damage around the area that might have been caused by the bobcat. They advise, just as N.H. Fish and Game and Campus Safety has, to not approach the bobcat and to back away slowly and cautiously.
“I still feel safe, I think the cat stays around here because there’s a lot of grass and bushy areas, I see rabbits dancing around P-two [apartments], so it’s a great spot for a bobcat,” DeMeo said.
Bethany Ricciardi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org