Nicole Leslie caught an image and video of elusive bobcat in east Maple Ridge, Sunday. (Contributed)

Mom, kitten bobcat visit B.C. backyard

Stopped and said hello Sunday, then disappeared into forest

At first, Nicole Leslie’s husband thought it was a stray cat checking things out in their east Maple Ridge backyard.

Only when it hopped up on the back fence of their Albion home Sunday did he realize it was a bit bigger than a house cat.

Nicole didn’t waste any time and grabbed her camera and got a picture of it standing on the top of the fence.

Her husband got some cellphone video, too, of some heart-warming seconds of the mother cat carefully walking on top of the fence, followed by a kitten just moments later.

“I grabbed my camera and ran to the front porch and caught it just in time there. She paused and was quite curious about me and the camera. She calmly turned around and hopped down after that.”

Her neighbours have a critter cam and have said bobcats are regular visitors. But until Sunday, Nicole had never seen them.

Nicole, who lives on Kimola Drive, has seen many wildlife visitors this year, including a crane, beaver, bear, raccoons and a salamander.

“We’ve had a crane, right in the yard, in the grass. It’s because of a pond behind us. We get all kinds of stuff. It’s pretty neat to see out there.”

She said there seems to be lots of small animals in the area as a food source.

“They’re very well fed. They look super healthy. You don’t think they’re going to be in such a residential area, but there sure seems to be a lot out there.”

She initially put the photos on to the Albion Neighbours Facebook group, drawing comments of “Beautiful. Amazing picture,” and “So cool.”

Conservation officer Todd Hunter said there’s a healthy population of bobcats in Metro Vancouver. The bobcats will hunt rabbits, which hide in blackberry bushes, as well as squirrels, rats and mice.

“In Metro Vancouver, we’ve received, in the last two years, more call volumes come in with sightings of bobcats around homes.”

Hunter cautioned people not to feed wildlife of any kind.

He asked people to be careful to not leave any type of food outdoors that can attract rats or mice or racoons, which in turn can attract predators, such as bobcats, cougars or bears.

People have to do everything they can to remove any kind of food outside their homes and make sure they don’t leave their small dogs or cats outside.

“The cougars, they’re preying on the raccoons more.”

Two reports have come in during October and November of cougars killing racoons from North Vancouver to Maple Ridge.

“If you’ve got animals coming to your property because of food … you can bring in other animals.”

Bears can also hunt deer.

“Those bears have been noted to prey on deer, right in people’s yards.”

There have been several reports of that happening in North Vancouver and in the Belcarra and Anmore areas of Port Moody.

“They’re [bears] omnivoires, they’ll eat anything. They’re known to take down game and feed off them, and they will. That’s why they’re dangerous. They’re fast. They may be fat, but they’re fast.”

Hunter said people should respect wildlife and don’t get too close.

“That’s what keeps them wild. Enjoy them at a distance and give them their space.”

Last month, a reader sent in a photo of a cougar calmly watching hikers pass by on a trail in UBC Research Forest.

Just Posted

Cyclists rejoice as the Christmas Lights Parade returns

Family-friendly 10km ride visits big Christmas displays, Dec. 21

Victoria residents advocate for funding for neighborhoods without community centres

North Park Neighbourhood Association hopes to see $75,000 to bolster nearby staff

Victoria resident faces discrimination from BC Transit since transitioning to a wheelchair

Daniel Sands says they are often not allowed on buses, even when there is room

Canada Post carrier seriously injured in Saanich dog attack

The employee was bitten on the hand and arm

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Suspect steals 150 pairs of cosmetic contacts from Nanaimo party supply store

Incident happened at Pattie’s Party Palace on Rutherford Road on Thursday

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read