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Allen Couple Says Bobcat Family Moved Into Backyard

ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Jim Rose never expected his home along a quiet residential street in Allen would turn into a wildlife refuge.

Videos he's taken over the past six weeks, though, show the litter of bobcat kittens that have made themselves comfortable in his backyard, jumping on his patio furniture and sharpening their claws on his wooden deck.

Jim and his wife, Dayle, first noticed a few of the babies wobbling between their fence posts.

"They weren't much more than six, eight inches," said Jim.

"And still kind of shaky," said Dayle.

Within days, they realized, they had a whole family - five kittens in all and one fiercely protective mother.

"You could just feel her eyes going right through you," said Dayle, who's been on the receiving end of a long glare.

Bobcats In North Texas 'Don't Want To Bother Us', Big Cat Sanctuary Says

The couple have steered clear of their backyard when the kittens are out, certain their mother would attack any perceived threat.

"I don't want to look like I went through a paper shredder," joked Jim.

The Roses suspect, during the heavy rain in May, that mama bobcat found a safe place under their deck to give birth and stuck around.

They've watched her kittens growing ever since and have grown protective of the little ones, as well.

"It's kind of like it's an honor that she chose us," said Dayle.

But soon enough, she knows, those kittens will be big enough to join their mother in hunting.

Already, they're leaving their leftovers, the furry remains of rabbit or, perhaps, a rat, strewn across the deck.

"There are small dogs and cats roaming all over this neighborhood. I'm telling you they're prey, literally," said Jim.

The Roses have reached out for help, hoping to find the bobcat family a better home.

"It would make me very very happy for someone to come and relocate these animals somewhere," said Jim. "We called the Allen Police Department, the fire department, the veterinarian, a shelter. We called the state of Texas, wildlife and game. Everyone tells me the same thing. Nothing can be done."

The city of Allen forwarded CBS 11 News a portion of their website saying it doesn't intervene when these animals are roaming their natural habitat, which includes urban environments, unless the animals are "sick, injured, or unusually aggressive."

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department confirmed game wardens "will not remove the bobcats and don't perform most animal control duties."

Relocation, according to DFW Urban Biologist Rachel Richter, "is often not logistically possible and many relocated animals die from the stress."

The best case scenario, she said, is for the homeowner to encourage the bobcats to relocate on their own by using light sound and smell deterrents.

The Roses have been hoping the bobcat family would eventually move back toward a nearby creek for the cats' sake and their own.

(Originally Posted June 12)


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