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Jul 032014
 

fisher7There’s something strange in your neighborhood, what is that thing?

An Orange resident in the Wildwood Drive/Grassy Hill Road area has seen a creature that she believes is a fisher cat, a nasty little carnivore that prowls the woods and back yards in the neighborhood mostly at night, sunrise and sunset.

A member of the weasel family, with rounded ears like a bear, razor sharp teeth like a piranah, dead shark-like eyes and and a long thick tail.

My introduction to this animal, which was near the brink of extinction in Connecticut 100 years ago thanks to fur trappers, was nearly a decade ago when a fisher cat was blamed for the slaughter of alpacas in Bethany.

They’ve been known to inhabit Bethany and Woodbridge for years, so it’s only natural that they would now have moved into Orange.

Fisher cats have a haunting scream that sounds like a child in pain. HERE is a You Tube clip that was posted on the Internet.

The DEEP offers this information:

Fisher, although carnivorous, generally eat whatever comes along. Their main prey include snowshoe hare, porcupine, small mammals (mice, voles, shrews, moles) , and squirrels (gray, red, and flying squirrels).

They also feed on birds, amphibians, insects, fruits, nuts, and carrion. They help keep mice and vole numbers under control.

Fisher kill porcupines by repeated swift attacks to the face and head. After killing the porcupine, the fisher flips it over on its back and starts eating the belly.

Because fishers seldom travel in open areas and tend to be nocturnal, they are rarely seen by humans. They have not been studied as extensively as many other wildlife species because they are difficult to observe.

People have reported their pets; cats, chickens and other small animals being killed by fisher cats, which left behind a terrifying mess.  The Orange resident who first reported this to us said a bird nest in her back yard was down and there were feathers everywhere.

Check out these pictures, and if you see one in your yard, try and get a photo for Orange Live to post.

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