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.



[email protected]

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

New MP Taylor Bachrach makes his first trip to Bella Coola

Bachrach said he is keen to get to know his riding and the members of his constituency

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Nuxalk Nation celebrates first carpentry graduates

11 students graduated from the community’s first carpentry program

Bella Coola leave their mark on All Native Basketball Tournament as they reach Intermediate final

Nuxalk Braves bring home a strong second place finish; three individual awards for Marlon Edgar-Apps

All Native Basketball: Finals matchups start to take shape as title games approach

Two Prince Rupert sides in contention, while two dynasties are on the brink

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

Most Read