Re: the recent story in the Times about a bobcat seen near Easy Street in Morgan Hill. These beautiful felines are indeed living amongst us. They’re becoming more “urbanized” because development is encroaching on their native habitats and driving them further into residential areas. They are searching for food and water. Bobcats are shy, solitary animals and will not attack humans, if left alone.
However, it certainly is a good idea to keep your pets indoors and livestock enclosed at dusk and night. Not just bobcats, but other wildlife are on the prowl in the darkness. There’s an amazing adventure going on outside our homes while we’re sleeping safe and sound in our beds—if we could watch with night vision goggles we might see a myriad of creatures hunting and scavenging—owls, bobcats, opossums, badgers, raccoons, skunks, coyote, foxes, mountain lions, bats, and more.
Back to bobcats—the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center has received many bobcat kittens that were found in or near residential areas. Using an internationally-recognized method that it developed in 1994, WERC raises these kittens so that when they’re released, they will avoid humans. The bobcats are never released exactly where they were found but a suitable site is normally located within a 3 mile range per California Dept. of Fish and Game criteria. Bobcats are released into the wilds, far, far away from residential and agricultural areas and roads. Such was the case with Moony, found on a beach trail in Half Moon Bay near highway 1 and released deep into Burleigh Murray State Park. Then there was Stanley who was found in a neighborhood park and eventually released on private land, many miles into Pacheco Pass. Other kittens were found on the UC Merced campus, in a restroom building at San Antonio Preserve, on a sidewalk in Monterey, and at a construction site in Newman. While we do want these animals to be out in the wild, it’s fortunate that these kittens were close enough to be found and rescued.