If you’ve ever seen a bobcat or coyote in your backyard, you’re not alone. Carrollton residents have said they have spotted these animals numerous times in their communities and neighborhoods.
“For a long time bobcats were not common, but as the undeveloped properties become developed, and their habitat has become limited, we’re seeing more and more of all wildlife. Seeing this wildlife does not necessarily mean we have a wildlife problem. It just means we have wildlife in our community,” said Carl Shooter, Carrollton Animal Services manager.
According to Shooter, crossing paths with a wildcat or other animal is not necessarily a threatening situation. He said while petting any type of wildlife is discouraged, the animals are not dangerous and aren’t prone to attacking humans.
“They’re not really aggressive to people. We’re just cautioning folks, as with all wildlife, if you respect the safe boundaries between human activity and wildlife activity everyone would be fine,” Shooter said. “If you see bobcats or coyotes, yield the right-of-way. If you see them moving in one direction, you can move the opposite direction to limit your interaction with these animals.”
Another tip Shooter gives is using something as simple as a small plastic bottle filled with pebbles or pennies to make loud noise. The noise normally scares them away. When walking a pet, using a leash will help protect them from bobcats and coyotes.
To deter these animals away from your property, Shooter said avoid having anything in your yard that attracts wildlife. Avoid leaving stagnant water behind, keep hedges trimmed, collect fallen seed from bird feeders, dispose of unfinished food from pets and make sure garbage cans are sealed properly.
Many residents have said people and wildlife can co-exist, and Shooter said he agrees whole heartedly. He said there was a time when people thought these animals were a threat, but animal services has found them to be helpful to the community.
“As we’ve educated ourselves and educated the community, we’ve learned to appreciate them,” Shooter said. “The same coyotes we’re concerned about, help keep our rodent population down. They just create a balanced environment.”