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Bobcats are sizing up LCF

The fierce midsize felines are common in foothill areas, but tend to avoid humans.

September 21, 2011|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com
  • Taj Chiu of La Canada Flintridge provided this shot of a bobcat strolling their property on Hillcrest Avenue. (File photo)
Taj Chiu of La Canada Flintridge provided this shot of…

La Cañada Flintridge residents welcomed a visit from yet another member of the animal kingdom last Sunday when a bobcat took a stroll down Melinda Thompson and Bill Scherkey’s front porch on the 1400 block of Flanders Road.

With multiple bear sightings of coyotes and bears already having occurred this year, bobcats are just the latest critter to make appearances here.

Glenn Houser of the 5000 block of Jarvis Avenue also encountered a bobcat on the morning of Aug. 9.

Ricky Whitman of the Pasadena Humane Society said that bobcats are a common sight in foothill areas.

“Bobcats are not unusual to see, and frequently the [reported] mountain lion sightings are bobcats,” said Whitman.

Scherkey said that the bobcat was noticeably large, making an impression when compared with his and Thompson’s 60-pound pitbull.

“The bobcat was easily as big if not a little bigger than my dog, and my dog is a pretty sturdy breed,” said Scherkey. “But I’m not sure that I want him taking on a bobcat.”

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Whitman said it is wise to give the cats a wide berth.

“Be careful not to corner them, they can be very, very fierce, they have very sharp claws, and will go the extra yard to defend themselves.” Whitman said.

Still, they are unlikely to attack pets. Whitman said that they hunt small animals, so a kitten or puppy could be in danger, but that full grown pets are unlikely prey.

Scherkey said that in his two decades living on Flanders Road, he’d never felt like bobcats were a danger to pets.

“We’ve had dogs here now for ever since I’ve been here and we’ve never really felt like it was a threat,” he said.

Whitman said that it’s important to appreciate the bobcats as well. “They are beautiful, they will keep rodents under control very, very nicely, and they are an essential part of the ecosystem in the area.”

Scherkey said that he and Thompson frequently see coyotes as well.

“Because we’re right next to the easement there’s a lot of small animals and rodents that are around, so an animal like a bobcat or a coyote, this is like lunch all the time” said Scherkey. “He had a squirrel in his mouth, a big brown squirrel, so he was obviously looking for a place to have lunch.”

Whitman said that if residents keep their property clean of food and the sort of natural debris that these animals seek for sustenance and habitat, they shouldn’t have any problems.

“They’re not eager to make friends,” she said. “They’re kind of shy and would rather leave you alone.”
 
 

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