A lone bobcat was captured on camera Thursday by a Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks staffer along a trail east of Boulder. 

Department outreach coordinator Steve Mertz said that in his 20 years here, he has seen only three -- and this one, he was not lucky enough to see for himself. Martz said a colleague spotted the cat before it climbed the tree in which it was photographed, resting.

Bobcats, which are predators with a large range, will dine on rodents, rabbits and prairie dogs -- generally, animals smaller than themselves. They can be confused with lynx, Mertz said, but lynx favor higher elevations, and are noted for having ear-tufts that bobcats lack.

The city staffer who snapped this cat didn't linger to see how long it remained in its perch. And Mertz was sworn not to disclose its exact location.

“You know how it is, if people hear there is a bear or a lion out there, then you get a crowd. I'm sure he's not around any more. They've got to eat, so we want to let them get back to their business, too," Mertz said.

“We give ‘em room to go out and hunt and play. We're lucky to have them here. They‘re a species that does not adapt to humans as well as other species.”