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

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

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

(File Photo)
Fernie Chamber to host virtual chat with business and physicians Jan. 18

The online conversation seeks to address issues including contact tracing in the community

The number of skiers and snowboarders using the Fernie ski shuttle to get to Fernie Alpine Resort from town is down by 77 per cent this season. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shuttle use down 77 per cent as travel advisory bites

The ski shuttle in Fernie is reducing it’s frequency to five times a day as a result

A photo from an early construction stage taken in the fall of 2020. (Photo Contributed)
Elkford’s Meeting Place comes to life

Construction on the outdoor space is set to wrap up this coming summer

The RDEK is accepting applications for the CBT’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs. File Photo)
CBT’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs accept proposals

Sparwood reminds residents to apply for the grants prior to Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read