Saugus family spots bobcat in backyard

A bobcat in the backyard of a home on the 22400 block of Cardiff Drive. Photo courtesy of Caite Roberto

Residents Rick and Cheryl McClure spotted a bobcat in the backyard of their Saugus home Tuesday. They were with their daughter when they noticed the bobcat on a pillar of their fence a couple of hundred feet away. 

“We’re used to the wildlife so nothing is really surprising,” Rick McClure told The Signal of his family’s initial reaction to the bobcat. “They don’t bother us. They don’t seem to want to attack.” 

McClure said they don’t frequently see bobcats in their neighborhood. “This is the first time we’ve been actually (able to) get a shot of one,” he said. 

McClure’s daughter, Caite Roberto, caught the bobcat on camera, snapping three pictures, including one that she sent to The Signal, and a video of the bobcat as it sat in place wagging its tail.  

“I didn’t want to take so many photos of (the bobcat) because I wanted to be looking at the bobcat with my eyes and not through the lens,” Roberto said, calling it a “really neat experience.” 

Jeff Morrison, the open space and trails administrator for the city of Santa Clarita, said the cats are relatively common in the area, if not frequently seen. 

“I probably see a bobcat every day,” Morrison told The Signal. “They’re, for the most part, very shy. They’ll run away from human and other animals.” 

 A bobcat on a trail in Santa Clarita. Photo courtesy of Jeff Morrison 

Morrison said he gets a lot of calls from residents to report bobcats that they believe to be mountain lions. 

“The first question I ask them is, ‘Well, do they have a really long tail?’” he said. “And usually the answer is, ‘No, it’s not that long,’ and I say, ‘Then that’s a bobcat.’” 

Bobcats like to eat small animals, like rats, mice and lizards, and will only occasionally attack small cats and dogs, according to Morrison. 

Morrison added that a lot of animals become more active during the spring. “But not having as much rain this year is probably causing a little more movement than normal,” Morrison said. 

Morrison also said two bobcat kittens were recently returned to the wild. 

“The California Wildlife Center has two kittens that were taken to their Malibu hospital,” he said of two bobcats whose mother was struck by a car. “They rehabilitated them and then two Sundays ago they released them in East Walker Ranch Open Space.” 

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