Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

April 11, 2013

OUR VIEW: Bobcats are no reason to worry

If you read our report Thursday on bobcat sightings in Cass County with trepidation, there’s little need to worry.

Just ask Tom Hewitt, a biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He has an age-old take on fear of bobcats: “They’re just as frightened of you as you are of them.”

The small predators are 2 to 4 feet long, standing about 2 feet high and weigh 15 to 30 pounds. Large tufts of fur on their cheeks are a dead give-away of their breed.

There are ways to know if there’s a bobcat residing on or near your property. Evidence may include tracks in mud, droppings, feeding areas, and claw marks on tree trunks.

You likely will never see one as they are known to avoid people. If you should happen to run into the reclusive creature, Hewitt says the best thing to do is to yell and scare it away. Given their fear level, you likely won’t have to even yell, he says. They’ll likely run at the sight of you.

“In most cases,” Hewitt said, “they’re going to be running one way as you run the other way. The only time a wild animal is going to be defensive is when it has young ones. If you corner them and threaten them, then naturally they’re going to defend themselves.”

Keep that in mind should you cross one’s path. Another thing to remember, though the animals are no longer on the state endangered list, they are still protected. That means hunting them is prohibited.

If you’re still worried, there are ways to protect yourself and your pets.

• Don’t feed wildlife. This includes deer, feral cats, and other small animals. Remember predators follow prey.

• Prevent the buildup of feeder foods under bird feeders. Bobcats are attracted to the many birds and rodents that come to feeders.

• Feed dogs and cats indoors and clean up after them. If you must feed outside, do so in the morning or midday, and pick up food and water bowls, as well as leftovers and spilled food as soon as pets have finished eating. Water, pet food and droppings attract small mammals that, in turn, attract bobcats.

• Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn.

• Enclose poultry (chickens, ducks, and turkeys) in a secure outdoor pen and house. Bobcats will eat poultry if they can get to them.

But, most important, remember what Dads always say, they’re just afraid of you as you are of them.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • THEIR VIEW: Littering shows disregard for surroundings Numbers tell a sad story about the disregard many Hoosiers have for their surroundings. Too many in Indiana don't care enough about the environment to prevent them from cluttering the countryside by carelessly tossing litter along the side of roadway

    April 18, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lessons from 2nd Fort Hood The shooting at Fort Hood last week has stirred up more debates about guns and mental health but adding little more than some oratorical dust. Consider these elements: • Army Spec. Ivan Lopez, who killed three and wounded 16 others before taking his

    April 10, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Fast lane for road projects Our interstate, national and state highways carry millions of people through and across Indiana each year. Those roadways form the physical connections among our communities. Not just people, but dollars. One state legislator says "half a trillion do

    April 9, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Doubts about Common Core doubts It wasn't the most solid week in the movement to swap out the school standards known as Common Core State Standards for a homegrown set of measures in Indiana. Sure, the General Assembly was able to get a bill to Gov. Mike Pence last month to scrap t

    April 8, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Parents, let's talk about money There are many talks that parents need to have with their children. They talk about bullying at school and talk about drugs. And of course, there's the always-dreaded "birds and the bees" talk. But there's a talk that many parents gloss over. And it'

    April 6, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Sporadic bouts of snow, rain and sun have kept most of us indoors the past few weeks. Now, weather forecasters tell us of better, warmer days, the kind where we can roll down the car windows, open the sunroof or hop on a motorcycle. But it's that tim

    April 4, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Early voter registration deadlines should go Sign up for nearly anything online and you'll have a confirmation of completion email within seconds. Sometimes it's so fast that it seems your inbox dings before you even hit enter. The processing of information has become almost instantaneous. Tha

    April 3, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.