Playful bobcats make themselves at home in southeast Calgary yard

A family of playful bobcats put on a show in a Calgary woman’s front yard over the weekend in Parkland in the city’s southeast.

And some advice on how to protect your pets if the wild felines move in near you

Julie Kyliuk took video of these bobcats on her front lawn in southeast Calgary. (Julie Kyliuk)

A trio of playful bobcats put on a show in a Calgary woman's front yard over the weekend in the southeast community of Parkland.

Julie Kyliuk shot some video of their antics and it was a big hit on CBC Calgary's social media channels.

Kyliuk told CBC Radio's Alberta at Noon she believes the family has been hanging out in the area for years.

"They were chasing each other around and playing peekaboo in the bushes," she said.

From May to October, she said it's pretty much a weekly sighting in her part of the neighbourhood, which borders Fish Creek Provincial Park.

Kyliuk says she likes being able to share space with the animals.

"I think they're just such a treat to see," she said.

"Maybe I would feel differently if I had little pets."

City of Calgary urban conservation lead Chris Manderson says bobcats really aren't anything to be worried about.

"They're a typical cat; they don't pay a lot of attention to us," he said, adding that reports of dangerous encounters with bobcats are extremely rare.

"For the most part, they just kind of do their thing."

More sightings

According to Alberta Fish and Wildlife, bobcat sightings are increasing in parts of southern Alberta.

On its website, the department says it's unlikely a bobcat would attack a person. But pets can be vulnerable.

If you know bobcats are in the area, it's wise to keep your cats inside and watch over small dogs, the department says.

Bobcats generally eat rabbits, hares and other small mammals like mice and squirrels. But they're highly adaptable and when they live near human development, they may start to lose their fear of people and the noises of the city. 

The province offers several tips for dealing with bobcats in urban settings:

  • Be sure the bobcat has not made a den for kittens somewhere on your property. Kittens are usually born April to June and they stay with their mother for up to a year.
  • If you're sure you've got bobcats in your yard, take away your birdfeeders and baths so the birds don't become prey.
  • Keep your garbage and recycling closed tight, and don't leave pet food outside.
  • If there are no kittens, be sure the bobcat has an escape route — open any gates on your property so it has an easy exit. "The bobcat will leave in its own time."
  • If it's a threat to public safety, call Fish and Wildlife at 310-0000.