(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is warning pet owners in Colorado Springs to keep an eye on their pets after numerous bobcats were captured on video by those who live in the city.
CPW posted photos and videos of the animals on Twitter on Monday, Feb. 6, and warned that a privacy fence is not always enough to protect your pets from bobcats and other predators.
CPW said the videos were captured on “critter cam” in a Colorado Springs neighborhood.
CPW provides educational resources on its website, entitled Living With Wildlife, which can help pet owners avoid any run-ins between pets and wildlife.
According to CPW, bobcats and big cats like mountain lions are active throughout the year, as opposed to bears that hibernate in the winter, so the danger is always present. And just because you have a fenced yard, does not mean your pets are safe unattended.
“Keeping a dog inside a fenced yard won’t necessarily prevent an attack,” CPW said. “It’s best to keep your dog in a covered kennel or inside your home.”
When letting your pets outside, especially in areas of the foothills and near parks, make sure your yard is well-lit and your pets are not left outside for long periods of time. According to CPW, “in Colorado, law enforcement officers are authorized to destroy dogs seen chasing wildlife and fine the pet owners.”
In the same tweet on Monday, CPW also shared images taken in January from a neighborhood in Rockrimmon, which showed three bobcats together in a yard.
Cat owners should also take steps to minimize the danger to their pets, as CPW said they are easy prey for predators, which may cause larger issues for people living in the area.
“The presence of free-roaming cats can cause predators to remain in areas where they may not be welcome,” CPW said.
If you see a wild animal like a bobcat in your neighborhood, CPW said the best thing to do is treat wildlife with respect, and leave the animal alone so long as no humans or pets are in danger. If a wildlife conflict poses an immediate danger for the animal or people in the area, call your local CPW office or law enforcement agency.
An animal that is simply a “nuisance” is not a reason to call CPW.
If your pets and family members are already safely inside, the wildlife in Colorado can provide plenty of opportunities for incredible photos and videos, which you can always share with CPW.