It's Spring in Massachusetts and that means warmer temperatures, budding flowers, and of course a resurgence of animal life across the state.

Here in Berkshire County, the Spring season brings out birds, rabbits, and even some bears, but what about bobcats? Recently I've seen several videos on social media of bobcats roaming residential neighborhoods in Pittsfield and as a pet owner, it's making me a little nervous.

According to Mass Wildlife, bobcats are the only wild cat now found in Massachusetts. The large and elusive predators are common in the central and western parts of the state, but are also becoming more present in the northeast, and expanding into the southeast part of Massachusetts as well. They can live in a large variety of habitats including residential neighborhoods.

Bobcats are carnivores and most commonly prey on medium-sized animals such as rabbits and hares but will eat mice, squirrels, skunks, opossums, muskrats, birds, and snakes. Occasionally bobcats will prey on larger animals such as deer but this is generally when other food items are scarce.

While the wild felines are adapting to suburban settings and may be seen in backyards and residential areas they rarely cause conflicts with human activities. However, if you have livestock or chickens experts recommend you pen animals in or near a barn at night and keep chickens within secure pens or coops. Electric fencing may be used as a deterrent.

The goods news is although experts say it is possible, it's very unlikely that bobcats will attack cats or small dogs, however, your best bet is to never leave pets outside unattended, especially at night.

One resident recently shared a video of a Bobcat in a southeast Pittsfield neighborhood who appears to have successfully preyed on a rabbit.

 

While that video is obviously in the evening hours, another video was posted by a resident in a similar area of the city during an earlier hour.

 

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