‘They are out there, we just don’t see them often’
They’re in the area, but not often seen.
If you’re wondering where the bobcats are living in Cape Breton, it’s a secret.
Officials with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources say bobcats are common in Cape Breton and across the province.
“You don’t see bobcats because they don’t want to be seen,” said Mark Pulsifer of Antigonish, a wildlife biologist and Natural Resources manager for the eastern region.
“They are a secretive animal. They are out there, we just don’t see them often.”
Pulsifer said although bobcats are common in the province, he has worked as a biologist for Natural Resources for 28 years and has only seen three bobcats and has been involved in only one incident with the animal.
Pulsifer said DNR did receive a call last week regarding a bobcat sighting in Glace Bay.
“There wasn’t a complaint,” he said. “The person was just excited to see one and wanted to let us know she had.”“
He said bobcats tend to stay in their habitat in the woods usually areas where there is a mix of softwood and wetlands, where its prey tend to live and where there are opportunities to seek cover as well.
A bobcat’s three main sources of food are snowshoe hares, mice and squirrels.
“If you are walking and hiking and a bobcat is around it will either ignore you, hide or leave the area.”
However he said although bobcats do not come out of the woods often, because of all the snow this winter, the bobcat spotted in Glace Bay might have been hungry.
He said people do not need to worry about their pets as it would be unlikely a bobcat would attempt to eat a cat or other small pet.
He said this time of year a hungry bobcat could go after birds at feeders so anyone concerned should keep areas around feeders clean and pick up any spillage.
He said basically a bobcat is a beautiful animal and people don’t need to be scared of it.
“A bobcat doesn’t look at people as prey,” he said. “They are more afraid of us then we are of them. It’s a beautiful animal we should appreciate and not be overly afraid of. Never to my knowledge has a bobcat acted aggressively toward a human in the province.”
However Pulsifer said as with all wildlife people should never approach or feed them.
He said if someone sees a bobcat — or any wildlife — and suspects the animal is sick or injured they should contact DNR in Sydney at 902-5633370.
“With any situation like that or if someone feels threatened they can call us.”
Seen here is a bobcat at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, taken in the summer of 2007. Officials with the Department of Natural Resources say bobcats are common in Nova Scotia but people don’t often see them because they don’t want to be seen.