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The Hills of Monticello, a neighborhood with estate style homes on the Southlake/Colleyville border, has been plagued in recent weeks by what is believed to be a bobcat.
Jim Dawson resident of the neighbor had two cats that been family pets for a very long time. He lets his cats outside in his backyard daily and free of supervision. In recent weeks Dawson has lost one of his precious pets and now doesn’t feel safe letting his cat outside.
According to Dawson about five cats have disappeared from the neighborhood in the past six weeks.
Hills of Monticello HOA president Al Zito said there has been sightings of bobcats in the area as well as many other forms of wildlife, including heron, ducks, Canadian geese, owls, squirrels, armadillo, raccoons, beavers, possum just to name a few.
The neighborhood boasts more than 60 acres of ponds and open spaces that many of the animals, including the bobcat, call home.
Zito is aware of the disappearance of animals in the neighborhood and said in an e-mail to the Times that the HOA is taking steps toward fixing the problem.
“One is to inform our neighborhood of appropriate precautions to protect their animals,” Zito said. “First is to encourage compliance with Colleyville and Southlake City Ordinances to keep all pets on a leash and not allow them to wander the neighborhood.
“The second is to keep their pets inside at night and lock their “doggy doors” so that their animal will not wander outside in the evening. We are also encouraging people to keep their garbage secured and in tight containers.
“Further to these actions, we have employed a professional service to consult with us on the appropriate handling of the situation as well as consulted with both the Colleyville and Southlake animal control officials which have been extremely helpful and are following their advice on how to manage this issue appropriately.”
The HOA has employed the services of Critter Control of Fort Worth to help remove the predators.
Critter Control employee Jason Livingston said he set traps on July 16 in the neighborhood.
“They (the bobcats) are very elusive and hard to catch in a live trap,” Livingston said.
Livingston uses gland scent to lure the animals into the cages. Once inside the door, the cage shuts behind the bobcat trapping it inside without harming it.
Livingston checks the traps everyday.
Once the animal is captured he said it will be transported to a location about 150 miles away.
According to Livingston the animals are not new to the area but due to the drought this year there is a shortage of live rodents and the bobcats are moving in on small domestic animals to meet their food needs.
The HOA has posted a warning about the predators on their Web site and is encouraging residents in the neighborhood to keep a close watch on the pets.
Credits: By Christina Rowland - Southlake Times Star