A trail camera photo taken on Monday, Aug. 15, in Franklin County shows a large cat crossing a bridge. Credit: Courtesy of Neil Brackley

Do you have an outdoors photo or video to share? Send it to pwarner@bangordailynews.com and tell us, “I consent to the BDN using my photo/video.”

So, what did you guess?

The trail camera photo provided by Neil Brackley — via his parents, Al and Joyce Brackley — shows a large-ish feline crossing a bridge late at night on Aug. 15 in Franklin County.

As is almost always the case when we present a less-than-definitive trail camera photo or video for your consideration, there were a variety of interpretations about what we saw.

Most of you thought the animal was a Canada lynx, while several others guessed bobcat. A couple of readers did say it’s a mountain lion.

Al Brackley had related that folks who had seen the photo thought the cat might well be a mountain lion. However, the vast majority of readers who commented on our story weren’t willing to make that leap.

Understandably, the dark conditions and shadows, the difficulty of determining scale and the lack of a visible tail all conspire to make identification a little tougher, especially to the untrained eye.

That said, it’s time to put this one to bed.

Shevenell Webb, the always helpful and insightful furbearer biologist from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife — which maintains the position there are no known populations of cougars in Maine — set the record straight based on her expertise.

“The photo looks like a bobcat, even from a distance, because its feet are not large and legs are not as long as a lynx would be,” Webb said when asked to identify the cat in the photo. “Its hind end is level with [its] back, whereas the hips for lynx are a little taller than the rest of the body.”

The unspoken follow-up to those comments is that the characteristics of the animal pictured also fall well short of having the size to be a mountain lion.

Naturally, the mere suggestion of a mountain lion sighting did resonate with many folks who either say they have personally seen a puma in Maine, or know someone who has. That is definitely fodder for further consideration.

There understandably are numerous skeptics when it comes to the possibility of mountain lions being in Maine. Their position is backed by the almost complete lack of visual or physical evidence confirming the cats’ presence.

The debate almost certainly will continue, regardless of what people say they saw or caught on camera. And there’s nothing wrong with a healthy debate on such an interesting subject.

Maybe you have a photo of a suspected cougar in Maine that you would be willing to share? If so, by all means, send it along to BDN Outdoors Editor pwarner@bangordailynews.com. I would love to talk with you about it.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...