Bobcat may be to blame for pet deaths

September 8, 2010 5:18:47 PM PDT
Residents in Brazoria County say they are keeping their pets indoors more often after reports of one or more bobcats in the area. Many people say they've seen them, and one woman actually caught one on camera. Sandy Bankston was on her way to her grandson's football game in Pearland when she captured the shot of a lifetime. The amateur photographer just happened to have her camera in her lap when she and her husband saw a bobcat less than half a mile from Pearland High School.

She said, "Something must be wrong with the animal because they usually come out at night. It was just odd to see him out at that time. He was kind of panting like he wasn't feeling too well and we assumed he was out looking for water."

Incredibly Sandy managed to capture several shots of the animal which was out in the middle of the day.

"I immediately got a lot of responses on Facebook just saying, you know, that may have been what happened to my kitten," Sandy said.

The Bankstons spread the word because they are concerned about safety, both of the animal and for residents and their pets.

Sandy said, "Because it was near quite a few houses and two schools."

Dr. Jim Bankston added, "I hope it doesn't have to be killed and hope it finds a better place to live where it belongs more."

Experts with Texas Parks and Wildlife say with rapid development of areas like Pearland and Friendswood, the bobcat sighting isn't unheard of. They say the animals are likely to prey on small animals including pets, especially at night.

Friendswood resident Mary Bocon said, "We just keep the dogs in and we just round up our two cats."

Bocon has two dogs and two cats and is taking precautions to keep them safe. She lost a cat last year and believes a bobcat was to blame.

"The cat never left the area. He was always in at night," she recalled.

Animal control set up a trap two weeks ago, but it hasn't caught anything yet.

You can read more about the uptick in bobcat sightings in the Pearland Journal, one of our Houston Community Newspaper partners.


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