Friday, March 27, 2009

Bobcat Attacks in Arizona & Texas

I had my first bobcat encounter soon after there were reports of cougar/panther sightings here in the Dallas/Fort Worth zone. My first bobcat encounter was on the mountain bike trail at River Legacy Park. I braked to a halt. The bobcat was in tall grass at the side of the trail. It kept popping its head up as if it was waiting to pounce on me.

I reversed course and high-tailed it out of there, going the wrong way on the one-way trail. I found a park ranger person and told her of my dangerous encounter. She laughed and told me the bobcats were harmless.

So, after that, with my follow-up bobcat encounters, I had no concern that I was in danger. On one of my bobcat encounters I was rollerblading and the bobcat was an old lady one. She just slowly walked ahead of me while I snapped pictures. That's the old lady bobcat in the picture.

My most recent bobcat encounter was also the weirdest. I pedaled on to the north end of the River Legacy trail's bridge over the Trinity River. At the south end I saw a bobcat walking on to the bridge. I kept pedaling. He kept walking. We met in the middle with me saying, "howdy kitty."

So, I was quite surprised to learn this morning that bobcats do attack humans. As in a bobcat attacked 3 people in Cottonwood, Arizona. The first attack occurred after a woman thought she'd hit the bobcat with her car. She stopped, got out and was attacked and scratched.

After that the bobcat headed towards a Pizza Hut where it menaced a woman as she left with her pizza.

After the pizza encounter the bobcat went inside the Chapparal Bar and commenced to attack, causing people to stand on bar stools and tables to get away from the marauding bobcat. The bobcat bit two men in the bar.

By the time the police arrived the bobcat was in the bar's parking lot. The police shot and killed it. Rabies test results are not yet available. I'm thinking this might be a Hitchcockian The Birds type phenomenon, with bobcats going crazy randomly.

I won't be so relaxed during my next bobcat encounter.


twister said...

That's pretty neat. I'm not sure I would classify them as "harmless", tho. Maybe this Bobcat has become acclimated to man and therefore has lost it's fear of man or maybe it has rabies. Generally, I think, it's assumed when an animal presents itself like that in broad daylight it should be treated as possibly rabid, because that isn't normal behaviour. I'm not saying anyone should run away screaming, or anything, but I'd would give them a wide berth.

Anonymous said...

its rather unusual to see bobcats in the city which most of them are in secluded areas. the only thing i could think of is that their habitats are being destroyed and food are getting scarce so they go into the city knowing theres food there if it means to attack a human, i wished the cops didnt kill them as given other options to trap them humanely and drive them out to the bush outside of the city. bobcats are aggressive but not timid when it comes to food and space . they let u know!