Another Airdrie resident has captured video footage of what appears to be a Bobcat in the city's Bayview neighbourhood. In recent weeks, residents across the city have noted an increase in Bobcat sightings.
Craig-Christopher Hohenberger's home security camera captured the wild cat on his driveway in the early morning hours on Wednesday.
According to Fish and Wildlife Alberta, although Bobcats tend to shy away from humans, there are increasing Bobcat sightings in southern Alberta. This is due to the fact that Bobcats feed mostly on rabbits, hares and other small mammals like mice and squirrels, which are found in urbanized areas.
"Bobcats in the wild are naturally shy of humans and are normally most active at sunrise and sunset. It is extremely unlikely that a Bobcat will attack a human," the website states. "Bobcats are highly adaptable and if living in or near human development may lose their fear of people and the noises of the city. These Bobcats may also learn to become more active at any time of the day."
Alberta Fish and Wildlife previously stated that officers will respond when there is a threat to public safety; however, Bobcats can be difficult to trap in an urban environment where their ranges can extend over large areas.
Residents are being reminded that Bobcats are opportunistic hunters and if Bobcats are known to be in the area, it is advised to keep cats indoors and supervise small dogs when they are in the yard, as they may be vulnerable. Other tips that may deter bobcats from coming near one's property include:
- 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 leaving screen doors and windows open 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
Residents should also check to make sure the Bobcat hasn't made a den for kittens somewhere on their property.
"Bobcat kittens are usually born April to June and they stay with their mother for up to a year. Look for open spaces under decks, outbuildings or in trees, shrubs or piles of debris for den locations."
If there are no kittens, Alberta Fish and Wildlife advises being sure the Bobcat has an escape route; this means having open gates on one's property and not blocking its exit.
"The Bobcat will leave in its own time. If the Bobcat is reluctant to leave, consider spraying it with a garden hose until it does leave."
The City of Airdrie also has tips on avoiding human-wildlife contact, including:
- Give animals space.
- Do not feed wildlife.
- Properly dispose of waste.
- Keep pets on a leash.
- Use caution while driving.
The City underlines, that as wildlife adapts to urban environments, private property may attract wildlife. To reduce unwanted activity on your property:
- Install fences.
- Keep waste inaccessible.
- Choose animal-resistant plants.
The Bobcat is the smallest of Alberta's wild cats. Its signature look is a bobbed tail - the genesis of their name. They have black-tufted ears and dark markings for camouflage.
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, DiscoverAirdrie encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverAirdrie app