Hot weather, drought drawing more bobcats into Arizona communities
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Kim Reynolds showed us the spot where some unexpected guests spent some time behind her north Scottsdale home. “It was hot when they came in,” said Reynolds. “They were on my wall walking back and forth several times.” The Scottsdale homeowner took dozens of videos recently of a mother bobcat and her two kittens hanging out in her backyard.
The animals chilled out on the grill, played in the yard, and even peeked into the house to check out the family cat. “I thought they left, so I searched the whole yard thinking they left,” said Reynolds. “I opened my door and stepped out, and the bobcat was right there, like a floor mat. We both jumped up like we scared each other, and I’m like we’re cool, we’re cool.”
More and more bobcats appear to be showing up at homes across the Valley. Social media sites like Nextdoor and Facebook have been flooded with posts from people sharing their bobcat encounters.
According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, bobcats have always lived among us, but the current drought is drawing a lot of bobcats in from the desert. “What’s bringing urban bobcats into neighborhoods is just food, water and shelter, and our backyards have that in spades,” Amy Burnett, with Arizona Game and Fish. “They are coming in and getting water from your pool, water fountain, maybe a dish of water you put out. It’s attracting them and keeping them there.”
Wildlife experts say bobcats rarely attack people, so there’s no need to panic if you see one. However, it’s a good idea not to leave small dogs or cats outside alone and don’t feed the bobcats. If a bobcat makes someone uncomfortable, they can make a loud noise or spray them with a water hose to scare them off.
Reynolds was happy leaving her bobcats alone until they were ready to go. “I just think we as people need to be careful with pets and respect the fact these bobcats were here way before we were,” said Reynolds. “This was their stomping ground before DC Ranch was developed. I welcome them. I welcome all the wildlife that comes.”
For more information on bobcats, visit azgfd.com/wildlife/livingwith/bobcats/.
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