MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) – Allerton Park employees were in for a surprise when they spotted a bobcat on one of their beaver cameras.

The sighting happened Dec. 10 around 3 a.m.

Natural Areas Manager Alex Lourash is no stranger to wildlife. He’s seen deer, racoons and even coyote on the trails. But he said a bobcat sighting is rare.

“It’s hard to tell if it’s a male or female,” said Lourash. “It’s a pretty good-sized cat. It could be a young male looking for a new territory. Or just one looking for food and kind of found its way to this area.”

Lourash said this is the second bobcat sighting during his six-year tenure as manager. He also says bobcats are common in Illinois and we’ll probably start to see more over the years. However, it doesn’t mean you should worry.

“If you do see one, chances are that it’s going to run away,” said Lourash. “Being cornered is really the only time they feel threatened. They usually see you and go on their way just like any other feral cat.”

Monticello resident Jenna Fligor said she didn’t see the bobcat but won’t let it stop her from exploring Allerton.

“It doesn’t seem abnormal, there are a lot of feral cats,” said Fligor. ” It’s just like any other area where there’s wildlife. There’s always a little bit of risk but it’s not enough to dissuade me from coming here and enjoying the park.”