DEM: Bobcat sightings have doubled in RI since last year


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) says the number of bobcat sightings have nearly doubled from the same time last year.

The DEM said there have been 15 reported sightings so far in 2019 and through April 19, 2018 there were only seven.

According to the DEM, bobcats are rarely a danger to humans or pets, and will occasionally take domestic chickens, ducks or rabbits. Bobcats are also known to sometimes visit bird feeders looking for squirrels or birds.

On Thursday, two Eyewitness News viewers from Glocester shared videos of what they believe were bobcats. According to the DEM, neither of those sightings were officially reported.

In one of the videos, a large animal that appears to be a bobcat can be seen walking through the viewer’s backyard. The second video shows what the viewer describes as a bobcat walking through a wooded area.

Those videos were taken the same day a bobcat attacked a man at a Connecticut golf course.

According to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the bobcat jumped on the back of a man in his late 60s and scratched his head and back.

The bobcat, which was eventually determined to have rabies, was euthanized by environmental conservation police.

“It is extremely rare, however, when we do get a rabid bobcat they’re extremely aggressive, extremely violent,” DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Sgt. Chris Dwyer told WTNH.

The Connecticut golfer suffered minor injuries and will likely have to get a number of shots to ensure he is vaccinated against rabies.

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