Bobcat spotted in Penryn

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Liisa and Jim Chandler have nicknamed the new visitor to their Penryn home “B.C.” That’s short for bobcat. Liisa Chandler said they saw the animal several times earlier in the spring and soon realized it wasn’t a house cat. Bobcats can be up to two times the size of domesticated cats. “I think he lives in one of the granite outcroppings on our property,” she said. The Chandlers are used to seeing wildlife on their 2-1/2 acre spread, part of which includes a nature area with a creek. “We have the bobcat, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, a little fox family and deer,” she said. Herds of deer, which “level everything,” she said, have caused Chandler to quit planting anything on her back property. “I just let it go natural.” The creek and wildland are the perfect habit for bobcats, which like to feed on birds, squirrels and other small animals and are attracted to the water. As much as Chandler enjoys B.C.’s regular visits to her back yard, she is careful not to get too close. “I’m not afraid of him, but I wouldn’t want to get in front of him if he’s hunting anything,” she said. “I don’t want to antagonize him.” Chandler said they don’t try to entice the bobcat in any way, especially not leaving food out for him. They’re doing what experts recommend. “Never feed wildlife,” said Kyle Orr, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game headquarters. In fact, it’s illegal to feed some wild animals, like deer, said Orr. While bobcats do not present any danger to humans, they can be prey on small pets and livestock. Bobcats are nocturnal and their activity tends to begin at dusk. “Daylight is largely spent resting in cover area, such as rocks or dense brush,” he said. Discouraging visits by bobcats could very well save its life. The Website for Project Wildlife lists the following tips for keeping them away. 1. Do not feed the bobcat. 2. Never leave pet food outside. 3. Restrict use of birdseed. Bobcats are attracted to the birds and rodents that use the feeder. 4. If possible, eliminate outdoor sources of water. 5. Trim and clear near ground level any shrubbery that provides cover for bobcats or prey. 6. Use fencing to help deter bobcats. 7. Actively discourage bobcats by making loud noises and throwing rocks to make them leave. 8. Battery operated flashing lights, tape recorded human noises, scattered moth balls and ammonia- soaked rags strategically placed may deter bobcats from entering your yard. 9. Keep cats and small dogs indoors, allowing them outside only under strict supervision. 10. Keep chickens, rabbits and other small animals