Bobcat seen prowling around Rancho Penasquitos

SAN DIEGO - A Rancho Penasquitos family called 10News concerned, after spotting what they believe is an injured bobcat in their neighborhood.

Home video shows the bobcat walking the fence of a Rancho Penasquitos home on Meadowrun. Behind the camera were 10-year-old Reece Vanbebber and his friends.

Reece first spotted the cat Friday morning while feeding his rabbit in the backyard. The bobcat was underneath the rabbit's cage, likely trying to capture his breakfast.

"I was just freaked out and I was screaming at the dog to come in before it attacked the dog,” said Reece.

The bobcat stayed around the neighborhood all day. Reece's dad, Randall, later snapped up-close photos of the bobcat, which is seen wearing a brown collar around its neck.

“The collar is way too small and he's bleeding,” said Randall. “His neck is just all scrunched up in there and it doesn’t look good.”

10News showed the video Mike McCain, a warden with the Department of Fish and Game. He says the bobcat does not look hurt. The collar appears to be from some kind of study, though it does not mean the animal is a public safety threat.

"He or she is just passing through, isn't posing any kind of threat and based off what I saw in the video, there's nothing unusual about that bobcat as far as its behavior," said McCain.

McCain says if you see a bobcat, you should leave it alone and back off.

“It's uncommon to see them. That doesn't mean they're uncommon,” he added. “They're very common in urban interface where there's a little bit of open space nearby. People just don't see them because they're very secretive and nocturnal.”

A student biologist at San Diego State University tells 10News she has been looking for the bobcat for a year. He has outgrown his tracking collar and may have some injury to his neck. Researchers set up a trap in hopes of capturing the animal and getting him help.

The bobcat is one of 15 taking part in the experiment to see how they cope in urban areas.

10News has been following several bobcat sightings in recent months. In February, one ate more than a dozen chickens at a home on Old West Avenue. Last month, a family spotted a bobcat on the other side of state Route 56 on Picrus Street.

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