Animal seen for first time in 100 years

A fisher, a fearsome member of the weasel family, was found on Route 19 south of the village of Brockport, NY, on Saturday by town resident Bill Yox, 51, an award-winning taxidermist.

Yox and his son, Emil, 15, were headed home around 9:30 p.m. when Bill's trained eye spotted a dark form on the side of the road.

"Son of pup, it's a fisher," said Yox, an expert on wildlife by trade. "Big paws, a big tail, and blaze on its chest. He was 40 inches long nose to tail, a great big male."

Actually, when measured later, the fisher was 45 inches long with a 16-inch tail and was estimated to weigh 15 pounds. Other characteristics that confirmed a fisher: Its wide feet, sharp claws, five toes and webbing, making it an excellent swimmer, tree climber and hunter.

An omnivore, a fisher is one of the few natural enemies of a porcupine. While intimidating to come upon, experts said fishers are more likely to run off than confront a human.

"This is the farthest north and west that we've had one that is confirmed (for Region 8)," said Scott Smith, DEC wildlife biologist.

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