State residents should be on the lookout for bobcats, according to environmental officials.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the animals are most active just after dusk and before dawn. That means, be mindful of when pets are let outdoors.
DEEP said bobcats once struggled to survive but have been making a comeback.
In Connecticut, bobcats prey on cottontail rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles, white-tailed deer, birds, and insects and reptiles, according to DEEP.
DEEP has been trying to study the habits of bobcats and their effects on the ecosystem through the Connecticut Bobcat Project.
"We have been setting up very humane traps in which the animals are captured alive," said Chris Collibee, spokesman for DEEP.
The bobcats are tagged and then released. Environmental officials hope to gain a better understanding of how they work.
“Don’t be surprised to see them, especially if you’re out sort of in that overnight hours,” Collibee said.
Pet owners like Jim Kelly in Glastonbury aren’t taking any chances, but he said he does worry about other wild animals making their way under his fence.
“My concern not keeping an eye on her is a fox or coyote going through, and even out here walking her,” Kelly said.
Bobcats are a protected species so they can’t be hunted in Connecticut, which could be a contributing factor to their rise.
“They’re now found in all eight counties, so it’s not unusual, no matter where you live in Connecticut, to see them,” Collibee said.
Bobcats are particularly common in wooded areas and in the northwest corner of the state.
People with small animals are encouraged to take precautions across the state.
For more information on the animals, head here.
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