Keep dogs, cats safe
Bobcat sightings have become more prevalent in certain parts of Coquitlam and residents who come across the animals should give them their space.
Bear Aware co-ordinator Drake Stephens said bobcat sightings are particularly common in the neighbourhood between Thermal Drive and Mariner Way, the Walton Park area and much of northeast Coquitlam.
“I have never really heard of there being too many problems,” said Stephens. “We have so much different wildlife around here. It is just part of this area.”
While bobcats are not known to be a danger to humans, Stephens said residents in areas where the animals are present should lock up their pets. For the most part, the animals will eat rodents and birds, but bobcats, like coyotes, will occasionally feast on a cat or small pet.
Those who encounter bobcats — or any wildlife — are encouraged to give the animal lots of room and make sure it does not feel threatened.
“It is the same with all wildlife,” Stephens said. “Respect their space and don’t try approaching them. You can be injured by a squirrel if you aren’t careful. All wildlife needs to have its space respected.”
Bobcats are widespread across North America and are generally smaller (about 9 to 20 kg) and have more spots than the lynx.
Their lifespan ranges between 12 and 20 years and they are capable of reaching speeds of 55 km/h.
For the most part bobcats do most of their hunting during the early morning hours or in the late evenings and they generally stick to densely forested or mountainous regions.
Meanwhile, Stephens said the number of bear sightings coming into this office has dropped dramatically so far this year compared to 2010.
Stephens received 40 calls a month for both May and June, which he said is about half of the call volume he received up to this point last summer.
While it is difficult to explain exactly why the numbers have tailed off, he said that it is likely that an abundant berry crop is keeping the animals away from populate areas.
“There is probably enough natural food to keep them happy,” he said. However, residents are encouraged to secure their garbage.