January 16, 2015 - 2:58 PM
KELOWNA – A Kelowna resident lost four chickens to a bobcat earlier this week—maybe the same cat seen hunting in neighbourhoods in the Upper Mission.
Conservation office Ed Seitz says he was called Wednesday after the chickens were killed at a property in the lower Mission along Lakeshore Road.
Last week, a bobcat attacked a cat in Kettle Valley and had been trapped by a homeowner in his garage. Conservation advised the man to just let the cat out since the home was on the edge of the wilderness.
Seitz says it may be the same cat, but there is no way to be sure.
He tranquilized and relocated the adult male to an area where he's seen other bobcats and there are no people around.
“A lot of times we won’t move cats into a new area but this time I felt it was worth giving him a second chance because it was a healthy cat in good shape.”
Whenever there is a large snow snowfall it impacts the bobcats’ ability to hunt their natural prey, Seitz says.
“Their colour is brown to yellowish tan and they stand out against the white background,” he says. “So their ability to sneak up on prey becomes less effective.”
The snow also covers mice, which are a main source of food for the bobcats.
“They start to get a little more desperate for food and start looking at small pets and chickens.”
Seitz says there aren’t many cases of conflicts between bobcats and people, adding it’s mostly small pets or chickens they are after.
He says bobcats also become more visible to people in urban interface areas after a big snowfall so there are more reports to the B.C. Conservation Service.
Image Credit: Contributed/Ed Seitz
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