A family that lives in Torrey Highlands has a wild story to tell after a bobcat made its way into their backyard, making itself at home and preying on their pet chickens.
Officials say the wild cat first encroached on the backyard of a home in the 8300-block of Watson Ranch Road at around 4:30 p.m. Once the residents spotted the bobcat in their yard, they tried banging pots and pans together to scare it off.
When that didn’t work, the residents called authorities for help.
Mesa Verde High School student Brian Wang was coming home from school when he saw the bobcat in his backyard, munching on something. He then realized the animal was eating one of his little sister’s pet chickens.
“She’s had them [the chickens] as pets since they were chicks. We feed them, take care of them,” Wang told NBC 7. “Once they’re gone, you can feel a loss.”
Wang said his mother called police. Once help arrived, the family looked on as officers and officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tried different tactics to get the large feline out of the yard.
Wang said this included spraying the bobcat with water from a garden hose, which didn’t do much. Then, they turned on the sprinklers and the bobcat finally hopped over the fence and back into the canyon behind the property.
“It was still looking over [the fence], like it wanted to come back and eat the other chicken,” he explained.
Before this, Wang said he’d never seen a bobcat up close, much less hanging around his neighborhood.
“I never thought a huge cat would just come from nowhere out of the canyon, right into our yard,” he said. “It was sort of freaky, I guess. It wasn’t that big of a cat, so I wasn’t scared. It was just sort of shocking that it would just come over the fence and grab one of our family pets.”
The bobcat sighting in the Torrey Highlands area is one of several sightings reported across San Diego County over the last few months.
On Jan. 14, the principal of Westview High School on Camino Del Sur said someone reported a bobcat sighting near the campus. That feline in that sighting was never found.
On Dec. 26, 2013, a teacher at Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley came face-to-face with a bobcat walking around campus. The North County high school was on winter break, so no students were there. The teacher managed to snap these photos of the wild encounter.
On Nov. 7, 2013, a local photographer captured images of a bobcat walking around Mast Park in Santee.
No injuries have been reported in any of these sightings.