Park City man, happy pet inside, watches bobcat traverse backyard
Jason Hendrickson was inside his Solamere house last Thursday evening playing with his pet Australian shepherd when he noticed something moving outside.
It was a bobcat traversing the backyard at a slow pace across the snow. A brief video captured by Hendrickson shows the animal move from the open yard toward a pine before disappearing from view. It was “trotting across the backyard,” Hendrickson said.
“It was pretty awesome. I’m glad my dog was inside with me,” Hendrickson said in an interview, calling the experience a “pretty cool thing.”
It was the first time he saw the bobcat and he has not seen it since the sighting on Thursday. As a result of the sighting, he said, he now goes outside with the pet to “scope out the backyard, just to be sure.”
He estimated the bobcat weighs up to 35 pounds and compared the animal’s size to that of a medium-sized dog.
The sighting outside the Solamere house occurred a little more than two weeks after an earlier report of a bobcat in a different part of Park City. In the earlier case, the Park City Police Department was told a bobcat was seen carrying off a rabbit on Three Kings Drive, a street close to the Park City Golf Club. Bobcat reports to the Police Department are rare.
Wild Aware Utah, a program that involves the state Department of Natural Resources, Utah’s Hogle Zoo and Utah State University Cooperative Extension, says bobcats are adapted to living close to people and are found in areas that are urban. Wild Aware Utah says bobcats sometimes see small pets as well as poultry as prey even though conflicts with people are uncommon.
More information about bobcats is available on the Wild Aware Utah website.
Wildlife reports to the Police Department dropped last week after numerous calls in recent months. The heavy snow in the winter forced the animals like deer, elk and moose to lower elevations in search of food. Predators like mountain lions followed the prey animals to the lower elevations.
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Park City continues to require masks in municipal buildings, opting to keep the rule intact even after the end of a state mandate. It seemed likely as the end of the mandate approached the municipal government would enact its own requirement.