Bobcats spotted in San Marcos neighborhood

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SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- Several residents were shocked when they spotted a family of bobcats Tuesday along a busy San Marcos street.

Sandra Lundgren was driving down her street when she saw something that caught her eye.

“I felt very fortunate to see the three bobcats. I’m glad I was in my car," she said.

The bobcats seemed to be fascinated with Lundgren's presence as she started to park her vehicle.

“I was very fortunate in that I saw him cross the street and I thought, I’m going to turn around and see if he will pose for me, in which he did," Lundgren said.

She pulled out her cell phone and began to snap photos.

“After he crossed over, there were two more bobcats -- two more baby bobcats,” Lundgren said. “I think it’s pretty amazing. I think it’s beautiful and it’s a gift. I photographed the other two as much as I could. They were much more skittish than I believe, the older one. He seemed to enjoy the camera. There were people walking around but I don’t think they even noticed the bobcats.”

However, 13-year-old Hunter Ruiz noticed them. He was was able to take photos as well as video of the felines.

“I would never approach them," he said. "I would probably just do the same thing -- take pictures and look at them from a safe distance."

The residential street borders a busy San Marcos trail system.

San Marcos police told FOX 5 there have been several bobcat sightings reported over the last couple of weeks. They say the cats are affected by California’s lingering drought and are venturing out into the open to find food and water.

“My understanding is that if you come across them, you just kind of back away slow because they will leave you alone if you leave them alone," Lundgren said.

Wildlife officials say bobcats are common in San Diego County. They are usually not much larger than a house cat and are very timid.

In order to deter bobcats from entering residential areas, do the following:

  • Keep smaller pets indoors and never leave their food outside.
  • Keep pets on a leash when walking.
  • Remove bird feeders from your property because they tend to attract smaller animals, which are food for bobcats and other large animals.

Anyone with concerns is urged to call California Fish and Wildlife.

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