This Foreclosed Property Is An Excellent Home For Bobcats

Unlike prospective homebuyers, this pair of bobcats went absolutely wild over a foreclosed Lake Elsinore home. According to the L.A. Times, the bobcats were likely attracted by an outdoor koi pond, which isn’t just decorative, but serves as a fabulous source of drinking water. Like any suburban couple, the pair is expected to stay until the kids are old enough to leave.

Residents of the development got their first look Aug. 27 when the feline squatters — at least two adults and three kittens — lolled atop a wall outside the Spanish-style house.

“But are they pussycats? No. Can they do a lot of damage? Yes,” she said. “They usually look for a food and water source, and there is an old koi pond in the backyard and that’s where they are headed.”

She said she expected the animals to move on in a few weeks, when the kittens are old enough to travel.

Tuscany Hills has been hit hard by foreclosures, and the house on Vista Palermo has been empty at least six months, neighbors said.

Said one clearly well-humored resident: “They are great neighbors, and as long as they don’t want to baby-sit my kids, it’s not a problem.”

With homeowner in doghouse, bobcats move in [The Los Angeles Times]
(Photo: Karen Brown)

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  1. Morberis says:

    I worked at a Provincial Park, Writing-On-Stone, Alberta, and we had a mother and her cubs move into the hoodoo’s next to our campground.

    I will say they “can” be dangerous but you should be fine as long as you stay the *()& away from the kittens and the mother. They also tend to not go after pets unless extremely hungry because the human smell really puts them off, though if they get acclimated enough they could become a risk.

  2. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    They’re beautiful.

    • Morberis says:

      @DePaulBlueDemon:

      That they are

    • Robobot says:

      @DePaulBlueDemon: Yeah they really are. Looks like they’re posing for the camera.

      … They’re definitely a more attractive consequence of foreclosure than the overgrown lawns and green backyard pools we’ve all seen so much of recently. Nothing like abandoned tricycles and trashed houses to make the foreclosure crisis even more depressing. Ugh.

  3. polyeaster says:

    Here kitty kitty kitty…

  4. brettt says:

    lolled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. ShariC says:

    There’s something perversely appealing about this. It’s as if you can see how quickly nature moves in when humans move on. It has a real “12 Monkeys” feel to it.

  6. nicemarmot617 says:

    Any pictures of the kittens?

    Also, if the koi pond still had koi, it could be classified as a giant kitty snack pool.

  7. engfish says:

    i can haz koiburgerz!

  8. smartwatermelon says:

    Those cats are lucky they aren’t in the SF Bay Area. Around here the animal control officers shoot first and give lame excuses later. Hopefully the LA animal control squad uses their brains before their rifles.

    • bbvk05 says:

      @smartwatermelon: When predatory animals become comfortable being around humans and compete with humans for living space and food, they have to be killed. Their value to the ecosystem is irrecoverably damaged because of their interactions with us, and they are a hazard to us, our pets and children. Even when they are moved to remote areas they return to populated areas, and when they encounter humans they are much more likely to be aggressive.

      The poor things are victims of human encroachment, but it’s not the game officer’s fault that the only responsible action is to kill them.

      I do population control hunts of coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats here in AZ when they become too dangerous to humans and pets. You would be surprised at how unnaturally aggressive some of them are, its downright scary.

      • AI says:

        @bbvk05: You’re not very imaginative if you think the only solution is to kill these animals. They could be relocated to any number of places in Canada, and wouldn’t come in to contact with people much at all. I’ve come into contact with a few lynxes and bobcats working out in the Alberta oilfield. The ones I’ve seen are used to workers and trucks being around and are not scared at all, but they are intelligent creatures, and would rather walk away and catch a rabbit than deal with a human with a 18″ pipe wrench. I also have a problem with animals like this being considered wild and dangerous instantly, when people can own rottweilers and dobermans.

        • bbvk05 says:

          @fairywench: Obviously I know the animals were here first. Obviously I know that they are victims of our expansion. That does not mean we should further damage the ecosystem by introducing new behaviors to wild animals and then moving them into closer contact with unmolested animals. Example: Coyotes need to eat rabits for that section of the natural food chain to work. When some Coyotes start eating trash they train other coyotes to eat trash, ignoring the need to eat rabbits.

          Also, I dont see you lining up to be the first to sacrifice your children as food for these animals as an “im sorry” for destroying their populations. I guess you just want it to be a lottery as to what hikers, pets and children get attacked by these human familiarized animals?

        • bbvk05 says:

          @AirIntake: I specifically addressed relocation in my first post. Relocation cannot work if the animal as developed new behaviors as a result of human contact. They will usually return to population centers, and they will always change the behaviors of the animals they join in the wild, which damages the ecosystem.

          The animals you had an opportunity to experience these animals up close in your work. They are amazing self-sufficient things who should not be made dependent on us as a species because we feel bad for individual animals.

          Bobcats are relatively small and do not pose a too serious threat to adults. Your comparing them and other predators like coyotes and mountain lions (cougars) to domesticated dogs like dobermans shows a clear lack of understanding about the predator’s nature. These animals are very, very wild, and are generally very wary of humans as they go to great lengths to avoid close contact. When that fear is overcome it does not make them domesticated dogs, it makes them wild animals who no longer respect your preeminence over them. They will kill you if they can, but since you are so large, they will settle for just your pets and children. So they become unnaturally aggressive toward humans, I and have seen it. This is bad for them because it destroys their natural behaviors and alters the ecosystem and its bad for us because we value our lives and pets.

          Our encroachment on these animals causes their necessary deaths. If you want less dead animals stop urban sprawl, but please dont pretend that relocation is a realistic option.

        • mythago says:

          @AirIntake: Why don’t you refrain from having a problem when a human-acclimated predator takes up residence in YOUR backyard.

          • AI says:

            @mythago: Would black bears and brown bears count as predators? They hang out in my backyard a few times a year, usually a mother with a couple of cubs. You know what? I’ve managed to live in the house AND not shoot them. We even had a wolf come by a few years ago. He wasn’t shot either. Shooting first is the reaction of ignorant city people who don’t know how to live and act around wild animals.

      • thebluepill says:

        @bbvk05:

        I agree. I would be the first person out there to take them out.

        Those of you that are divisional enough to thing they are harmless animals need a stern reality check.
        Those animals are more than capable of taking down a 120lb deer, child, or even soccer mom.
        I’ve seen several grown men throughout my life that have scars on their backs and scalps after having a run in with a wild cat such as this. They will sneak right up on you and WHAM, go for your face.
        There is no room for that level of danger near my family.

        • cvdwl says:

          @thebluepill: These are not cougars! They are bobcats, they max out around 30 pounds. Really, you’re in far more danger form the animal control guy with the gun.

          Cougars, I agree, can present a threat to humans. If we have to think of the children, I’d even agree with shooting them when they invade the suburbs… of course, that assumes we don’t want our children to evolve.

          To badly misquote Gary Larsn: “I’m sorry Tommy, the Smiths were weak, that’s why we have predators.”

    • mythago says:

      CAN HAS HOUSE NAO KTHX. GO AWAY OR U BE NOM.

    • Nick1693 says:

      @smartwatermelon: Animal Control has rifles?!?!!?!?

      • marsneedsrabbits says:

        @Nick1693:
        Animal Control has rifles?!?!!?!?

        In most places, animal control probably has rifles available to them, even if they don’t carry at all times.

        Where I live (in an urban setting) I know that they’ve used rifles to dispatch buffalo, bears & elk.

  9. Snakeophelia says:

    Definitely begging for a LOLCAT caption – maybe, “Your house – I haz it.” Or, “Invisible estate.”

  10. sonneillon says:

    The prrrfect burglar defense.

  11. bnosach says:

    not a good time to move in considering a continuation of a downward trend. Bobcats didn’t get a memo.

  12. thewriteguy says:

    WE CAN HAZ REFINANCY MORE GAGE?

  13. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    in another announcement…

    BOA, tired of vandals damaging vacant properties recovered by the bank, has instituted a new security protocol to keep the properties safe. One BOA VP was heard to say “Let’s see the bastards get the copper out of this one!”

  14. henrygates says:

    They’ll probably keep the place cleaner than the previous owners.

  15. rpm773 says:

    Someone get that couple a loan so that they can move right on in. In this market, with their credit rating and employment, I’d say they’re good for at least a $500K ARM.

  16. MasonMacabre says:

    This makes me want to get two stone bobcats to put outside my front door.
    I wonder if they sell bobcat gargoyles.

  17. floraposte says:

    When I looked quickly, I thought the shape of the plant behind them was the huge ribcage of some kill, and I wondered what the hell kind of bobcats they have out there.

  18. guice says:

    In some parts of the world, bobcats have been domesticated. Talk about your ultimate guard “dog”: sharper claws, sharper teeth, as vicious and … it climbs trees!

    • sean77 says:

      @guice: We have a pixie-bob, which is supposedly descended from bobcats. He’s a huge cat (over 20lbs), but very friendly. He acts like a dog.

  19. usmcmoran says:

    im in ur mansion eating ur koiz

  20. VA_White says:

    well, we *are * on their turf. They were there first.

  21. VeeKaChu says:

    “You dids it! You rly dids it! Damn yous. Damn yous all to hellz!”

  22. fairywench says:

    @bbvk05: The animals were here first. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Superawesomerad says:

      Seriously guys, lolcats? I didn’t realize it was still 2006. Sure hope the Democrats take Congress.

      @fairywench and AirIntake: : For God’s sake, people. Grow up. Everyone – including bbvk05, as you would know if you had read his post – acknowledges that shooting these animals isn’t ideal. But it’s the only responsible thing to do. Even if they had the resources to do so, why would the animal control office ship these creatures off to the Great White North so that they can (as a result of their acclimation) either starve to death or take

  23. Superawesomerad says:

    Huh. My post got truncated for some reason, so here’s the rest:

    Even if they had the resources to do so, why would animal control offices ship these creatures off to the Great White North so that they can (as a result of their acclimation) either starve to death or take up residence in the nearest human settlement and pose a threat to the inhabitants there? Why spend all that money to prolong the issue when a bullet costs a fraction as much?

    Like it or not, bobcats are highly efficient predators. Yes, they are beautiful; yes, it is a terrible shame they have to die; but my guess is that the second they started carrying off your housecats and taking swipes at your children, you’d abandon the “POOR WIDDLE AMINALS!” talk mighty fast.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Superawesomerad: 1) just b/c wild animals happen near humans doesn’t mean they are no longer feral. it just means humans are everywhere, so the animals really have little choice but happen upon us. 2) i fail to see how relocating animals is more expensive than shooting them – all it requires is an animal control office & a vehicle, both of which are already employed in the service of controlling animals. 3) where i live, many animals are relocated – the only ones that aren’t are rabies vector species (racoons, skunks & the like). these are gassed. the key to successful relocation (from what animal wildlife officers have explained to me) is to take them far enough away from their established habitat to ensure they don’t return.

      • bbvk05 says:

        @mac-phisto:

        Response to 1) Its not about them happening on humans, its about them exhibiting behaviors that show they are no longer afraid of human, and that is when they pose a danger to people.

        Response to 2) There are liabilities incurred by the taxpayers when you move an animal and then it proceeds to attack someone or something.

        Response to 3) Predators, especially the feline species, roam over very large distances. They will return if they dont get killed by the animals who control the territory they get moved into.

        Relocation is just not a viable option for predatory species. Here is an older example supporting what I am talking about:

        [www.azgfd.gov]

        • mac-phisto says:

          @bbvk05: well, thanks for the link, but i hardly think that it points to a consensus in how to rehabilitate wildlife. personally, i think i would find something a little less controversial to support your position. culling nuisance lions from their natural environment so as not to restrict tourism into a park isn’t quite the same as bobcats wandering into someone’s back yard.

          i guess i’m just lucky to live in a state that values its wildlife. here in ct, we leave alone if possible, relocate if needed & kill only if absolutely necessary. even if animals have close interaction with humans, the DEP’s response is “don’t like wildlife? put up a fence.” can’t say that i disagree.

          • bbvk05 says:

            @mac-phisto: I didn’t argue that it made a consensus, I argued that it was the most responsible action to take.

            I picked a controversial case on purpose to show what I am talking about. By controversial I mean the “poor little babies!” crowd complained when mountain lions were killed after they were seen roaming around on the grounds of an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. If that is controversial then sign me up for controversy! Perhaps the mountain lions were thinking about enrolling their cubs? They certainly weren’t thinking about food, right?

            Define absolutely necessary. I think that means when an attack is likely or imminent. You must think only after an attack happens?

            I guess I am lucky to live in a state that values its citizens! At least we can easily buy and carry a gun here while ranching or hiking.

            • cvdwl says:

              @bbvk05: Nice to drum up business and all, but a 16-30 lb creature is not much of a threat to human life and limb, just a nice exercise for a hunter.

              Yeah, I’m sure you can hunt them down and find plenty, but in years spent walking and biking in all manner of bear, cougar and bobcat territory I can count the number of times I’ve seen ANY of the above on one hand, and every time it’s the back end of the crittur I see.

              Let’s calm down here folks, I’ve had housecats bigger than these things. These are not cougars, they’re far less dangerous than your neighbor’s dog. If they seem agressive, yeah, call animal control; almost all reported bobcat attacks have been due to rabies. Wish I could say the same for German Shephards, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, humans, cats, etc…

            • mac-phisto says:

              @bbvk05: perhaps you could point me to the link where they were seen “roaming around an elementary school” – i can’t find any evidence of that. all i was able to find was information on a hunt in response to “sightings of 4 lions” within a national forest. so now we know what “absolutely necessary” means in AZ – “if you see a lion, kill it”.

              the most responsible method of control is to limit contact between humans & animals – in your specific case, they could have accomplished that very easily by closing the park to the public for one or more seasons (which is ultimately what AZ did).

              interesting how you failed to note the results of your “only responsible method of control” – the hunt was postponed indefinitely due to:

              ° The hot, dry weather, which makes tracking more difficult.
              ° The operation’s cost.
              ° No cougars have been seen.

              ° The noise and activity of the tracking hounds may have made the lions “skittish.”

              (source: [www.azstarnet.com])

              lol! again…maybe not the best example?

              • bbvk05 says:

                @mac-phisto:
                The closing and “canceled” hunt were diversions to keep radical environmental groups off Game and Fish’s back while they went out and got the lions. They shot three. You can read about it from the group that was going to try to stop them: [azef.org] .

                Also, let me edit my comments from the Game and Fish PDF: Day light active (abnormal, aggressive behavior) in proximity to a schoolyard, which I know to be an elementary school because I live here.

                @thebluepill: Bobcats are not a serious threat to adult humans, but I was talking mainly with respect to mountain lions.

                • mac-phisto says:

                  @bbvk05: wow. how incredibly unethical of them. hey, if that’s the type of government agency policy you support…well, i guess there’s really no point in arguing then, huh? you’re gonna go a-huntin’ no matter what.

                  • bbvk05 says:

                    @mac-phisto: You have repeatedly put words in my mouth, as if I said I supported the ruse/diversion to kill the lions protest-free. As if I thought there was a consensus about wildlife management.

                    You incorrectly contradicted my assertion that the lions were killed based on an erroneous news story that was written before the ruse was discovered. I helped you understand what had actually happened. The ruse was certainly unethical, but the reasoning behind the lion cull was sound.

                    And I would be able to hunt coyotes, lions, and bobcats whether or not AZGFD’s policy was to destroy or relocate, so that is really immaterial in our discussion. Perhaps you should try a new line of thought besides painting me as a redneck who has a pathological urge to kill. You could start by explaining to me why you think that the lives of unnaturally aggressive animals are more important than the lives or physical well-being of humans.

                    • mac-phisto says:

                      @bbvk05: now who’s putting words in whose mouth? i didn’t call you a gun-crazed redneck & i certainly didn’t purport that a wild animal’s life is worth more than a human’s. i’m merely stating there are other option used by wildlife control officers. no matter how you try to present it as such, killing is not the ONLY “responsible” option.

                      perhaps you have an abundance of lions in AZ – at one time we also did in CT. today, conservation officers speculate that there are still a few around, but there are no indications that the animals still reside here – they’re officially listed as extirpated from this area. we’ve succeeded in eradicating all top-level predators & as a result, our ecosystem is grossly imbalanced. raccoon, possum, deer, skunk & small game populations have exploded. deer specifically have become a serious problem as they are infested with the deer tick (the primary carrier of lyme disease – over 20,000 known cases in CT since 2000), notwithstanding their nuisance presence on roadways & in the backyard garden.

                      cougars serve an important purpose to the natural balance of an ecosystem. eliminate them & what takes their place? does abnormal behavior warrant elimination? & what is abnormal? predators will adjust their schedule, if needed, to survive – this is not “unnatural behavior”, it’s instinctual. they will roam outside their natural habitat when food & water are scarce. & if this results in an encounter, yes, removal is necessary, but elimination is not.

                      i enjoyed the conversation – i want to make it explicit that i’m not a hippy tree-hugger (i hate hippies) nor some greenpeace eco-crazy – i support responsible sportsmanship & wildlife management plans that utilize population control as a tool to promote a healthy ecosystem. i even support killing nuisance animals, but only if necessary & only as a last resort. i don’t think that stance is unreasonable in the least bit. i don’t understand why you are so unbending in yours. nevertheless, good luck to you & may there always be a lion to hunt; for the day that there is none will be a sad day indeed.

      • Superawesomerad says:

        @mac-phisto: Everything in your post has already been addressed numerous times.

  24. OMG! Ponies! says:

    OH HAI. WE TAEK ADVANTIJ OF SUB-PRIME SCANDEL AN’ BUY HOWSE AT BOTTEM UV MARKIT. WE CAN HAS RE-FI ON OUTSTANDIN MORGAGE NAO?

  25. timmus says:

    I hate lolcats but some of the lolcats comments here are hilarious.

  26. Do Bobcats like Nutrea? If so, send the Bobcats down to New Orleans as rotent control officers.

  27. Sorshha says:

    LOLBOBCATZ!

  28. Dr_Doofus says:

    I say we send Sarah Palin after them.

  29. Dude, I thought you said a cougar lives there! I went there, and all I found were two bobcats.

  30. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    A foreclosed house with cougars in it? bowwacacaow. Oh not that kind of cougar?

  31. Ben Popken says:

    The bobcats must be on the internets, they “lolled.”

  32. Nighthawke says:

    One advantage of having predators like Bobcats in the area: No vermin or pests. Just keep a tight leash on your pets and keep them indoors. When you walk them, keep your mace handy in case they take an interest in your pet.

  33. RStewie says:

    I hope they let them stay. Bobcats aren’t that dangerous.

  34. Kajj says:

    House contained bobcat. Would not buy again. [xkcd.com]