There are reports that over several months almost two dozen domestic cats have been taken by bobcats between 16th Street South and 27th Street South at Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, USA.
Domestic cats have gone missing and therefore some residents are blaming bobcats although there is only good anecdotal evidence (if one is honest) that bobcats are to blame. They want to trap the bobcats and relocate them to a local forest.
Bobcats do attack domestic animals including livestock and therefore it seems they are well able to successfully attack domestic cats. The bobcat is able to single-handedly kill prey weighing about 10 times their own body weight it’s thought. They kill large prey with a suffocating throat bite and smaller prey with neck bites to sever the spine.
Residents of Flagler Beach are meeting at a local restaurant on Sunday, July 22 at 5pm to discuss the bobcats. The restaurant is Beach Front Grill.
One of the missing cats was described as a “little tiny black cat…and she was my sweet baby girl”. The owner, Petty, said that one day she didn’t come home and her body was found on her neighbour’s porch, ripped with claw marks. This evidence seems to be fairly solid. Although I don’t think a bobcat would leave a domestic cat in this state. A bobcat would kill, carry away and eat the cat.
Petty believes that cats belonging to other neighbours have also been attacked by bobcats. They have simply gone missing and concurrently people report seeing bobcats.
Another resident, Ted Doss, said that he saw a bobcat and thought nothing about it but then realised that the bobcat might be taking cats because all of a sudden lots of cats started to disappear. He said that he has buried three cats that were ‘mangled up’ on Flagler Beach beside the road.
A fundraiser page on Facebook has been started to pay for a trapper to trap the bobcat or bobcats. They don’t want to harm the animals but relocate them.
Residents are unsure whether people have seen either one or several bobcats. A fellow resident made the point that cat owners in the area can keep their cat safe if they keep them inside especially at night. The advice is based upon the argument that bobcats mainly hunt at night. They might well happen in a built-up area to avoid meeting humans. But when hunting wild animals in the wild, bobcats are active during the day and nighttime.
Resident Linda Roy is surprised that there appears to be a change in bobcat behaviour in the area. She said:
“So far, we have had no luck catching him.. We’ve got several raccoons and possums.. I’ve been here 20 years, and this is the first time we’ve had one going around grabbing domestic animals.”
Another resident, Kim Lane, of South Central Avenue said:
“She was kind of an inside-outside kitty. We put her out the night of June 1, and she never came in the next morning. She goes out every night and this has never happened.”
Linda Roy also said that a neighbour’s cat was sitting on her windowsill at about 5:30 in the morning. She heard ‘hollering’ and the cat disappeared and there was blood on the windowsill. The cat survived and was taken to a veterinarian.
There seems to be no hard evidence but there are signs that a bobcat is taking domestic cats in this area. I wish them luck in trapping the bobcat. Perhaps this bobcat or bobcats are particularly hungry and are forced to prey on domestic cat. This may be because their usual prey is in scarce supply. If that is true it might be useful to do some research to find out why.
Source: Palm Coast Observer.