KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 13, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark
Cinco Ranch residents were surprised to see a bobcat roaming the Katy neighborhood. Katy is home to numerous wildlife and authorities advise residents to leave them alone.
Photo courtesy of John Bostic.
Last week a Katy resident took a picture of a bobcat sitting in a tree in his backyard in Cinco Ranch Section 1. After sharing the image with his neighbors one of them sent the picture to Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 1 Chad Norvell, who shared it on social media.
“He didn’t stay long,” says Constable Norvell regarding the bobcat. “If you see bobcats or coyotes in your area, bear in mind that both can easily jump a 6-foot fence so keep an eye on small pets.”
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas bobcats can weigh between 15 and 30 pounds. They are opportunistic hunters that mostly will hunt small mammals like rabbits and rats. They can pose a threat to small pets.
Bobcat Spotted in Cinco Ranch
Cinco Ranch resident John Bostic sent the picture into the Constable’s office as a way to alert fellow neighbors and to show everyone some of the wildlife that lives among us in the Katy area.
“My next door neighbor photographed the bobat on the evening of February 8 in his backyard, which is adjacent to a greenbelt/park located in Cinco Ranch 1,” says Bostic.
Bostic has lived in Katy since 2017, but has lived in Texas and Oklahoma since 1980.
“None of my neighbors or myself have ever observed a bobcat in the area,” says Bostic.
Bobcats, coyotes, wild hogs, rabbits, racoons, foxes, alligators, and snakes are just some of the more frequent wildlife that Katy residents can encounter. Extreme weather such as the cold, heat, or an abundance of rain can cause them to move around more and increase encounters with Katy residents.
“Our native wildlife lives among us and isn’t cause for alarm,” says Constable Norvell. “Leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone.”
Baby Animals Best To Be Left Alone
Baby bunnies found by Katy resident Bradley Schneider.
The first of the year and into the spring is when some Katy residents will encounter baby animals such as rabbits. While cute to see, they should be left alone.
Each year, rabbits deliver litters of bunnies. Their nests are often found in backyards and care should be taken when mowing or raking to avoid injuring baby wild rabbits. If found, these rabbits should be left alone.
“Baby rabbits leave the nest when they're three weeks old and about the size of a chipmunk,” states the Humane Society’s website. “If you find a chipmunk-sized but fully-furred rabbit with eyes open, ears erect, and the ability to hop, they are meant to be on their own. As small and helpless as they may look, they are not an orphan and don't need your help.”
Wild rabbits that are truly orphaned are extremely difficult to wean and care for. If they survive, the Humane Society recommends turning them over to a vet or rehabilitation group to be released.
The best practice when encountering local wildlife, especially if they are stressed from inclement weather is to leave them alone. It's also important to educate and teach children how to stay safe around wildlife.
Always supervise children when they are playing outside.
Do not let children play in flooded rainwater. This water is dirty and dangers such as snakes, gators, and bugs can be hiding in it.
Teach children about dangerous wildlife and tell them to always notify an adult when they spot a creature that could be harmful.
Do not touch a wild animal.
In most cases, displaced wildlife are more afraid of us than we are them. Take caution and if you need assistance call your local animal control or a professional.
Harris County 281-999-3191
Fort Bend County 281-342-1512
Waller County 979-826-8033