Bobcats spotted in West End neighborhood

Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-13 18:14:27-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- A West End homeowner is anxious after two bobcats were spotted behind her Queensland Drive home.

Wendy Grigg said she used to walk her neighborhood at night, but since the sighing is avoiding walking alone.

Grigg said a few days ago a neighbor stopped her while she was out walking her two dogs. He told her that his security camera captured video of bobcats near his back yard, which is next to a wooded area.

Later, Grigg said she got word from their neighborhood watch unit.

“There was this email and when I read it I got nervous. I’m not letting my dogs out alone. It’s scary,” Grigg explained.

CBS 6 News took the neighbors' concerns to local wildlife experts who said the bobcats, which can weigh up to 60 pounds, were likely just passing through looking for food.

They add, there’s no need for anyone to panic. However, experts do advise folks to keep a close eye on small pets and not leave them unattended.

Jeff Trollinger, the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Wildlife Resources with Game and Inland Fisheries, said the animals are nocturnal and are very skittish when it comes to being around people.

“Again, if you see the bobcats, just leave them alone. Bring in pet food and small pets. They are considered prey to wild animals. The animals aren’t interested in being approached by people. They’re more scared of them than you are of them,” Trollinger said.

Trollinger also said the bobcats will eventually move away from thet neighborhood. At this point, officials do plan to get involved unless they receive reports of something abnormal. For example, if the animals are spotted during daylight hours or if they approach people and exhibit no fear.

“If you see them, just admire them from a distance [and] snap a few pictures, but do not approach them.” he advised.