A young bobcat took up residence in a Salmon Arm couple’s chicken coop and had to be scared out. (Jim Hilland photo)

VIDEO: Bobcat infiltrates Shuswap couple’s coop, feasts on fowl

Police officers credited for attempting to assist with animal’s extraction

Dawnivan Sept and Jake Epema are grateful to local police officers who attempted to help remove a hungry unwanted guest.

The Salmon Arm residents came home on Jan. 17 to find the coop they use to keep their small flock of ducks warm and safe from predators had failed to keep out one wily wild cat.

Sept said signs of a disturbance were obvious as one of their ducks was in the neighbours’ yard. When she went to put the wandering duck back in the coop and lock up for the night, Sept came face to face with what she first thought was a large house cat hissing quietly at her.

A quick inspection of the coop turned up two dead ducks and a dead rat in the middle of the coop. It immediately became clear the feline shape hissing at her from the corner was in fact a young bobcat. The cat had got over the eight-foot high fencing outside the coop and broke a gate to get in.

Read More: CSRD green light’s Blind Bay cannabis store, provincial approval required

Read More: Driver of speedboat in fatal Shuswap Lake houseboat collision denied parole

Sept and Epema quickly shut the coop and rounded up the remaining ducks as well as their dogs and pot-bellied pig, and got them safely inside before calling the police who then notified the Conservation Officer Service for them. The COs advised them to secure their animals and open all the doors to the coop to give the bobcat a way out.

“We were terrified to be the one letting this very angry wild cat out,” Sept wrote in a message to the Observer.

Three RCMP officers from the Salmon Arm detachment showed up to help get the cat out of the coop. Unsuccessful attempts were made to spook the cat with loud noises and by prodding it through ventilation holes.

“Rave to the 3 lovely local RCMP officers that came up to our place this evening to help us get a bobcat out of our chicken coop,” said Sept in a Facebook post. “They were here within an hour of me phoning them. They were kind, helpful, caring, and supportive during our stressful and terrible evening.”

Eventually, the cat dashed out of the coop, ran into Epema’s legs then quickly retreated back inside.

Sept said five minutes after the RCMP officers left, the spooked bobcat found a way out and dashed up a tree, where it stayed for two hours, coming down after 1:30 a.m.

Read More: Mould mitigation at Sicamous elementary school near complete

Read More: VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

The bobcat had killed six of the 10 ducks and another died of its injuries the next day. It appeared to have stashed some of the dead waterfowl for an easy meal later; it returned the next day but finding its kills cleaned up, it left quickly.

After their brush with the bobcat, Sept and Epema plan to install a sturdier gate for the coop and cover the top of the fenced animal run.

“It was very neat to see such an uncommon animal so close, ” Sept said.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Wildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge theatre launches fall season at only 10 per cent capacity

The ACT Arts Centre only allowing 50 patrons at performances due to public safety guidelines

Grinch steals Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society’s safe

Theft happened early Tuesday morning at organization’s Albion fairground office

Fire at supportive housing on Royal Crescent

Firefighters find chair on fire, building being evacuated

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Most Read