Rare sighting of a Canadian cat in Vermont caught on camera

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JERICHO, Vt. (WCAX) Mike Kessler was enjoying his morning at his Jericho home like any other day.

"Right over the top of my laptop screen, there's this bigger than life creature which I had never seen," Kessler said.

The wildlife tracking expert had spotted a Canadian lynx for the first time in his decades-long career.

"I had to ask myself, you know, is this meant to be caught on film or not? And so when it paused, I said, 'OK,'" Kessler said.

Kessler decided to capture the animal on his cellphone.

"I made a couple of noises, pretending I was a mouse or something," he said.

Kessler says these cats are occasionally seen in the Northeast Kingdom but rarely in the Champlain Valley, so it caught him very off guard.

"It's like a no reaction, it's a pause, it's that moment where you don't know what to do," Kessler said.

Later in the day, Kessler went out to track the animal. The footprints are still in the ground a week later. And he says the area around his home makes an ideal spot for cats to travel.

"From Bolton Valley to the edge of Mount Mansfield, this is the Millbrook Watershed," Kessler explained. "Cats like water. Seek the path of least resistance."

For Kessler, with years of experience, it's something that will always stay with him.

"There's an aspect of this where it's really about the story," he said.