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Encountering Wild Animals on Walks?

1604 Views 19 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Keechak
I know some of our members live in areas where they more regularly encounter wild animals, but I'm an urban dweller. The most "wild" animal I usually encounter is a skunk, and they're not so much wild as really annoying. So maybe someone less urban can help me.

Where I live is surrounded by mountains, so the outer edges of the city do occasionally get bears and mountain lions, but I live well into the city and have never seen anything like that. Until last night.

Kabota and I were almost home from our after work walk when I looked over and saw a black cat crouched against a car about 20 feet away. It was pure black with yellow eyes and strange, enlongated ears. It really caught my attention and I was staring at it when I realized that in order for the cat's back to hit the top of the hubcap on the car, the cat would have to be at least Kabota's size, 45lbs.

There are no housecats that big. Here's what I saw:

My question is, any tips for this sort of thing? Kabota didn't notice the bobcat, but if he had, he would have gone for it. He's not afraid. And while he's protected from rabies, I'd be on the other end of the 5' leash and I'm not vaxxed for rabies. Plus, I doubt I could get a bobcat off of Kabota in time to save his life if the bobcat decided to attack him. I'm also not sure that my "hit it over the head with a breakstick" technique will work as well for a wild cat as for a domesticated dog.

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Coyotes here in the east are mixed with wolf and are bigger than the western coyotes. They're more dangerous and I would not want to run into even two of those together. Two of them killed a woman in Nova Scotia a while back. While that was an unusual incident, they seem to be getting more and more bold in general. I live in a small city, and my co-workers have seen coyotes in the parking lot at work and wandering down residential streets.

I saw foxes mentioned earlier in the thread, and I'm not afraid of foxes at all. Biggest fox ever confirmed (killed) in the UK was only 31lbs, and in the US the biggest foxes are around 25 pounds. Most males fall in the 12-16lb range (they can look bigger due to their fluff and their height, but foxes are light-boned). They don't hunt in packs. They don't even tend to pick fights with cats, let alone dogs. I see foxes and cats chilling in yards together with some frequency here, and I've never seen a fight. I've had foxes wander up to me and my dogs (up to five feet away), or trot along a half-block behind us screaming at us to get out of their territory, but none have ever so much as snarled at my dogs, let alone rushed them aggressively. A good kick from a human would hurt a fox because they are so light-boned.
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