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Family discovers bobcat in chicken coop

 
Family discovers bobcat in chicken coop
This young bobcat was found inside a chicken coop just south of La Vernia. While it is certainly responsible for some of the family’s missing chickens, it also may be to blame for some domestic kittens that went missing.

With all of the modern comforts we enjoy these days, it’s easy to forget that most in the county still live within a rural landscape. And while “country living” is enjoyable, there are certain inherent dangers that must be dealt with, especially with regards to the native wildlife, as Elaine McCollum and her family recently discovered.

Venomous snakes and spiders most often come to mind, but those with livestock and pets are quick to note that danger also comes from large predators such as coyotes and bobcats.

Most people don’t really think about the bobcats in the area, as these cats are largely nocturnal and secretive in their movements. For these reasons, they aren’t spotted very often. The cats are around, though, as one local family learned first hand.

A bobcat’s primary diet consists of small mammals such as wood rats, squirrels, mice, and rabbits, but they also regularly feed on birds. Larger animals, such as deer, have been killed and eaten by bobcats, though this is considered far less common. When bobcats are in an area with domestic animals such as sheep, goats, and poultry, they are known to prey upon these animals, as well.

So while it may have caused an initial surprise for Elaine McCollum and her family when they returned home from an outing to discover a young bobcat inside their chicken coop, the revelation isn’t really all that surprising.

The bobcat was certainly consuming the family’s poultry, and McCollum reported that some domestic kittens had also gone missing recently. Is the bobcat to blame? Possibly.

Also in La Vernia, Sally Brooks writes to the Wilson County News that she lost three adult cats over the last four months. It was suggested to her that they fell victim to coyotes. While they may never know, it is possible that coyotes or bobcats may be responsible for the absent domestic pets.

For more information on bobcats, or any other native wildlife, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

 
 
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