ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Action News Jax has received an exclusive video of what fish and wildlife biologists say is a bobcat in the backyard of a St. Johns County home.
We spoke with Stephen Laquintano, education coordinator at the Catty Shack Ranch, who said that bobcats are not dangerous unless they are threatened.
Laquintano said bobcats are shy and elusive and they don’t want to be bothered.
But he also said that pets should be put inside at night because as we continue to infringe on the big cats’ natural habitat, they will choose an easy meal if given the chance.
“Many of your viewers probably have a bobcat running through their backyard at night, and they just wouldn’t know it because they’re so shy and elusive,” Laquintano said.
Laquintano said that the nighttime video sent to Action News Jax by a viewer shows the true nature of bobcats, as this big cat casually saunters through a St. Johns County backyard.
“If your viewer caught one on a trail cam, that may be the only time they will ever see it. They tend to come out in the evening and at night, they’re very cautious, and they can disappear in the blink of an eye,” he said.
But bobcats aren’t the only wildlife spotted in local neighborhoods in recent months; Action News Jax’s Annette Guittierez told you back in July that bobcats, coyotes, deer, alligators, wild pigs have been spotted in E-Town, coyotes have been seen on the Southside, bobcats and monkeys have shown themselves in St. Johns County, and bears have been roaming through Ponte Vedra.
In the case of bobcats, they will mainly stay to themselves and don’t want attention. For example, a bobcat named Blessing at the Catty Shack was even shy around us and she sees people every day. Laquintano said that if we stay out of their way, they’ll stay out of ours.
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“They should admire it, but they should keep their distance, the bobcat does not want to be cornered it does not want to be threatened in any way. They are cats, and all cats can inherently defend themselves,” Laquintano said.
Bobcats are known as obligate carnivores, meaning they get all of their nutrition from meat such as snakes, lizards, small rodents, and rabbits, so you don’t have to worry about them getting into your trash.
While bobcats are not aggressive by nature, remember to bring your pets inside at night, and don’t ever corner a wild animal.