Upon returning from work, a San Manuel, Arizona, resident discovered an unexpected visitor resting in their dog’s bed – a bobcat. It is speculated that the wild animal entered through the unlocked doggie door.
The homeowner captured a picture of the bobcat relaxing in the bed, which was later shared on Twitter by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
They cautioned the public against handling wildlife without professional assistance. Although officials from the department were dispatched to the location, the bobcat had already fled before their arrival.
Although there seemed to be no dog in the bed, only a blanket, bobcats can threaten smaller pets like dogs and birds. These animals, resembling miniature mountain lions with tan fur and dark spots, are widespread in Arizona, ranging from the Sonoran desert to urban areas where they can find food.
Bobcats Also Inhabit Various Environments Across The United States
Bobcats also inhabit various environments across the United States, including northern forests, coastal swamps in the Southeast, and deserts in the Southwest.
However, they are protected in 10 states, and hunting them is regulated with a valid hunting license in Arizona. Despite this, bobcats are still at risk due to habitat loss, being killed by farmers and ranchers, and hunting for their skins.
These creatures generally reach the size of a small or medium-sized dog, weighing between 12 and 30 pounds and measuring up to 24 inches tall and 36 inches long.
They usually roam around during the early morning or late afternoon and are commonly found in residential backyards where they can locate food such as birds, rodents, and even unattended small pets.
Although they typically roam alone, they may occasionally travel with their families or partners and guard territories of about 12 square miles. They are often territorial and tend to return to the same areas, even if they have been relocated, so removing items that attract them to a location, such as food, is critical in preventing their return.
The Authorities Advise Individuals Not To Be Alarmed
The authorities advise individuals not to be alarmed if they come across a bobcat near their home since they generally do not attack humans. However, if a bobcat has rabies, it may behave aggressively.
The department advises homeowners to keep their small pets protected inside or on leashes while outside, as even if they are in an enclosed yard, they may not be safe from bobcats capable of jumping over a fence up to 12 feet high.
Additionally, the department cautions against feeding the animals, as it could make them overly comfortable with humans.