Sometimes unexpected visitors are the best kind. A new trail cam set up by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) got more than it bargained for this week when an effort to capture images and hair samples from local bobcats attracted a different razor-toothed predator instead.

Wildlife in New York

"As it turns out, cats aren’t the only animals that like shiny things!", read a post from the New York State DEC's Facebook page. With a setup that looks similar to a rustic dog park, the DEC had set up several "lures," including dangling string with a shiny ribbon and a compact disc attached to the end to attract bobcats. They lured a different elusive mammal instead.

Fishers in New York State

The grainy black and white video (above) posted from the DEC shows a fisher leaping in what looks like joy at the shiny objects hanging from a tree branch. Although the video is cute, these animals are avid predators that could easily harm or kill small pets if they venture out of the forest. Here's how likely you are to find one in your own backyard.

Facebook/Chris Byrne
Facebook/Chris Byrne

Fishers in the Hudson Valley, NY

While their numbers have rebounded since they were over-trapped in the early 1900s, fishers are still a rare sight due to their small size, forest habitat, and low reproductive numbers. Still, many Hudson Valley residents have spotted them in their backyards. A fisher caught on a Ring doorbell camera (above) was captured earlier this year in January. "Careful if you have a cat or small dog as they can kill smaller pets," warned one commenter.

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Fisher Facts

Even though the fisher caught on the DEC trail camera was certainly acting like a feline, fishers are actually a member of the weasel family. Male fishers can weigh up to 13 pounds, while females top out at 8 pounds. Another claim to fame is that they are one of the only natural predators of porcupines. Find out the best ways to interact with all New York wildlife below.

New York Animal Encounters

What do you do if you encounter these animals in the woods of New York?

Bear on Campus at SUNY New Paltz NY

On Thursday (June 23, 2022) this unassuming good-size black bear wandered onto campus and decided to climb a tree. The SUNY New Paltz Police along with the NYS DEC Police monitored the situation on-site. They were able to encourage the campus visitor to return home without incident.