However, experts say that not much caution is needed around bobcats — relatively small predators that rarely, if ever, target people.
“I think the odds of a bobcat going after a child or other human being are vanishingly remote,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States.
Bobcats, Pacelle said, live among us in the Lower 48 states and are coveted by hunters for their pelts.
“You just don’t hear of incidents … or frightening encounters between bobcats and people,” Pacelle said. “It runs the other way.”
Pamela Connery, volunteer executive director of the nonprofit Louisiana Bobcat Refuge, said she has been rehabilitating bobcats for about a decade. She said it’s very unlikely a bobcat would attack a person unless it was rabid — and even then, only if it was cornered. These are animals that, in captivity, usually only build relationships with their handlers and shy away from anyone else.
“The main thing people need to know about bobcats is that they are elusive and secretive,” she said. “It’s rare for most people to see one in their lifetimes.”