Friday, July 03, 2009

Colorado: Why are bobcats preying on small pets?

Wildlife Officials Warn Pet Owners About Bobcats

Posted: 9:49 PM Jul 2, 2009
Last Updated: 11:18 PM Jul 2, 2009
Reporter: McKenzie Martin
Email Address: mmartin@kktv.com

Wildlife officials are warning neighbors on the northwest side of Colorado Springs to be careful of bobcats. In the past few weeks two family pets have been attacked. The latest attack was Wednesday night; a small dog was killed in the Rockrimmon area.

"It didn't take long, the cat knew what it was going to do, did it and left," said Frank Jarnot. He watched as the bobcat killed his neighbor’s chihuahua. "I was probably about 15 feet away, a little close."

Not far from Frank's house, another dog was attacked a few weeks ago.

"From the sound of everything our eight month old puppy got the better of the bobcat that was at least two or three times her weight," said Daryl Tomczyk. He is just thankful his puppy Zena survived and only ended up with some stitches.

"Bobcats are pure predators," said Dave Lovell with the Division of Wildlife. He says there are likely more bobcats around this year because there is more prey. "Their main prey source is rabbits, we've seen an increase in the number of rabbits in Rockrimmon area and we believe that's what's bringing the bobcats in as well."

The rabbits Lovell says are flourishing with so much green vegetation to eat and it's hard for a bobcat to tell the difference between a rabbit and a small dog.

If you have small dogs and live on the west side of the city you’re advised to keep them in at night, bobcats usually feed at dawn and dusk. If you let them outside, it's a good idea to keep them on a leash or if they are in a kennel the DOW says it needs to have a cover over the top to keep the bobcats out.

The DOW says bobcats are usually scared of humans and it's actually unusual for bobcats to attack pets.

http://www.kktv.com/news/headlines/49776852.html

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