We do have a bobcat population in the Cochrane area, but unlike northwest Calgary and Airdrie, they haven't been problematic.
"I don't even know if we have had any confirmed sightings in the time I've been here for the past five years, but they do live here, they just haven't been problematic," says Cochrane Fish and Wildlife officer Aeron Szott.
"Luckily here in Cochrane, we've been OK, but living in the Bow Valley and having the Bow River going right through town, it's not uncommon for a bobcat to show up, I'm sure, but in terms of conflict, there haven't been any."
That's not the case in northwest Calgary and Airdrie where there's a larger population typically dealt with by Calgary Fish and Wildlife officers.
Last week, Fish and Wildlife issued a statement saying bobcat sightings have been on the increase in southern Alberta. For the most part, though, they are an elusive, low-profile animal.
"Bobcats typically feed mostly on rabbits, hares, and other small mammals like mice and squirrels. The event of them actually going after a domestic pet, whether it's a cat or small dog is extremely rare," says Szott.
Fish and Wildlife does, however, offer tips on how to prevent bobcats from coming to your property.
- Keep trees, shrubs, and even grass trimmed so there is no shelter for bobcats to hide in.
- Close off any potential shelter, such as the spaces under decks, patios, and outbuildings.
- Remove the food, shelter, or water that may attract them to your property. Do not feed them.
- Keep your garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Put your garbage and recycling out only on the morning of collection, not earlier.
- Avoid opening screen doors and windows where bobcats could sneak into your home.
- Do not leave pet food outdoors.
- Remove bird feeders and bird baths so bobcats are not drawn into your yard to prey on the birds.
- Add motion detector lighting to walkways and driveways.
- Keep dogs, rabbits, chickens, or other animals that live outdoors in a secure enclosure with a strong roof.
If you encounter bobcats or other wildlife that may be a public safety concern, please call the Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.
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