Holy Bobcat, Batman! Searles thrilled with local sightings

A pair of bobcats are enjoying the early winter in Mammoth’s neighborhoods, and wildlife specialist Steve Searles says he is ecstatic.

“For people to be able to observe that in a community, it’s a great indicator of one of the things that’s going really right in our town,” he said at the Mammoth Town Council meeting Wednesday evening.

“To have local bobcats being observed multiple times a day, it’s something we should be really proud of, and celebrate.”

Searles said there is no reason for people to be alarmed by the two critters.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. They don’t want to eat your cats or dogs.”

Not so among the local coyotes, though.

Searles said coyote sightings are on the upswing, even as six large bears continue to raid trash dumpsters throughout the town.

“The coyote population this time of year gets very busy,” Searles told the council, “and so if you have a small dog or outdoor cats, I’d be aware of the local coyotes that you’re seeing on the streets.

“Even mid-day we’re seeing coyotes in our neighborhoods.” Sightings of bobcats, though, are relatively rare around here.

Research shows bobcats to be mostly nocturnal, and to be strict, but generalist, carnivores.  Their diet is entirely made up of other animals, but they are known to eat many different animals.

Bobcats seem to primarily eat small mammals, such as gophers, ground squirrels, and woodrats.

There is not a single documented case of bobcats eating people’s pets, nor are there any documented cases of bobcats attacking people, according to the website urbancarnivores.com.