Bobcat sightings in Calgary raise concerns about pet safety

Pet owners in some Calgary neighbourhoods where bobcats have been spotted are being told to keep their smaller pets indoors for their safety.

Keep smaller pets indoors if you spot a bobcat, says wildlife officer

Another photo of the bobcat that was spotted roaming the streets of Calgary's Britannia community on Jan. 8, 2016. (Janice Parker)

Pet owners in some Calgary neighbourhoods where bobcats have been spotted are being told to keep their smaller pets indoors for their safety.

The animals have been seen in several southwest neighbourhoods, including Lakeview, Kelvin Grove and Britannia.

There have been reports of a bobcat attacking and killing a small dog in Lakeview. 

John Tetz, with Alberta Fish and Wildlife, says the bobcats are in Calgary for one reason — because there are available food sources.

"They are an opportunistic predator and they will take whatever presents itself. They thrive in the city environment and that's because of an abundance of prey, including small pets," Tetz told Doug Dirks, host of the Homestretch.

Tetz says Calgarians living in areas where bobcats and other predators have been seen should watch their smaller pets closely.

He also says people should get rid of areas around their property where the animals can take shelter. Tetz says that means keeping brush and cover down to a minimum and making sure they can't den under porches and garden sheds.

"Eliminate the opportunities for them to stay in yards, or near yards hidden from view, that will go a long way towards protecting our pets," he said.

Tetz says the wildlife service doesn't monitor the urban bobcat population because they are not considered dangerous to humans.

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