Though Concern Is Understandable, Experts Say Creatures Really Are More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Them

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A bobcat spotted in a suburban backyard has raised concern about possible danger to children and pets.

On Monday night, police were telling the public to be wary, but not to be worried, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

Alex Paciotti spotted the unexpected visitor from her kitchen window in Fairfield. Experts who looked at her pictures said it’s a big male, weighing about 40 pounds. He took a stroll right across the backyard and behind the pool house.

“And that was it. I couldn’t see it after that, and I wasn’t going to go outside and follow it to see where it was going,” Paciotti said. “I was thinking I’m glad that my kids and I are in the house. We had been outside playing about 30 minutes prior to seeing it.”

She understandably worried about her kids and her dogs, but Fairfield police say the danger was minimal.

“They’re very stealthy animals, so it’s rare to catch a sighting of one,” Deputy Chief Chris Lyddy said.

Lyddy said bobcats are shy and avoid contact with humans.

“Traditionally, they don’t cause us any problem. We haven’t had any occasion where domesticated animals have been injured or attacked by a bobcat. We recommend that residents just give them a wide berth,” he said.

The Connecticut Wildlife Division said the bobcat population is growing, and has been for years since the 1970s, when hunting and trapping of bobcats was outlawed. Over the winter, state wildlife officials trapped, sedated, tagged and released more than 50 bobcats.

They have been closely monitoring the population as it grows and spreads.

“It really was a beautiful animal. I’d rather know that they exist, you know, and not have them in my yard after dinner time,” Paciotti said.

She said she hopes the bobcat doesn’t bother with a return engagement.

Experts say on the off-chance you encounter a bobcat, back away slowly and make noise to scare it away. They are most active just after dusk, and before dawn.

To report bobcat sightings to Fairfield Animal Control, call (203) 254-4857 and/or email CTDEEP at deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov.

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