A local man, who lives in Brownwood behind the Elks Lodge in Paris, has seen many wild animals in his backyard but was shocked to capture a bobcat on his game camera early Thursday morning.
“I’ve seen foxes, coyotes, hogs, deer, raccoons, opossums, and skunks in my back yard but I didn’t expect this,” said Clint McMillan. “I just set up the game camera this week and I’m looking forward to seeing what else it captures.”
While seeing a bobcat can be concerning, especially if you have small pets, the majority of them are not aggressive and attacks on humans are virtually unheard of.
There are occasional reports of humans being clawed and bitten by rabid wildcats, and they may also attack when they have cubs nearby and feel threatened. But there is more significant concern of a bobcat preying on pets and livestock than humans.
Here are some precautions residents can take to protect their pets:
- Always walk your dog on a leash
- Make sure your fence is in good repair
- Do not leave pets unattended outside
- Remove food sources, i.e. fallen fruit, food refuse, pet food.
- If you have chickens or fowl, ensure they are put up at night
In the improbable event you come across a bobcat in Texas, take these steps to prevent an attack:
- Keep your distance, and don’t approach.
- Back away slowly without turning your back to the bobcat.
- Don’t run. Running triggers the predator/prey instinct, causing it to chase you.
- Make a lot of noise. You can yell, hit a stick against a tree, or use whatever you have at your disposal to be loud.
- Spray it with water. Like domestic cats, bobcats dislike water.
- Notify animal control if the cat is in a residential area.
“A bobcats personal territory can span out up to 30 miles, so I feel lucky to have captured a glimpse of him,” said McMillan. “He may be long gone by now.”