Wildlife rescue expert explains increase for bobcat, mountain lion, coyote sightings in Bay Area amid COVID-19 pandemic

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Monday, May 11, 2020
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Coyote, mountain lion, and bobcat sightings have increased across the Bay Area amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and wildlife rescue experts explain they've experienced three to four times the amount of animal in distress calls.

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- Calls keep coming in regarding unusual wildlife spottings across the Bay Area.

RELATED: Video captures coyote following San Francisco couple walking dog

Coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats are known to the area but have been spotted in places where they aren't often seen.

Fremont police posted a picture Sunday showing a bobcat that was spotted near Mission Boulevard and Paseo Padre Parkway. Police say such sightings aren't unusual, and noted other recent reports of bobcat sightings along the Mission Boulevard corridor. Neighbors say it's common to see them half a mile away in the hills but not here.

"I did see the picture that's something. It looked like not a child, a grown-up kind of bobcat," says Nagesh Erukuri who lives nearby.

"In general, bobcats don't pose a threat to people and larger pets," the police department said. "They feed on small rodents."

The latest coyote video comes from Hamilton Amphitheater Park in Novato. Nathan Cheever recorded video of two coyotes frolicking amongst each other.

In recent weeks coyotes and bobcats are just some of the many wildlife spotted here and there. In San Bruno, two mountain lions were seen on a trail. In Napa County, a wildlife camera caught three mountain lion kittens on video.

VIDEO: Trio of mountain lion kittens on the prowl in Napa County

Animal rescue experts say they are swamped in calls. Lila Travis of Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue says she received four calls while we were speaking with her about what happened.

"We had over 500 calls for animals in distress in April. It was quite startling," Travis said.

She says the emergency calls don't always require human help. Sometimes she can advise people on the phone and other times people are just calling to say they spotted an animal. Travis says there are a number of reasons why we're now seeing many of these animals.

"We're not as overwhelming in the environment right now. Humans have taken a step back which has allowed animals to come forward," says Travis. "There's a lot of urban wildlife that depends on garbage the food that we leave behind for their food and with us suddenly gone that food source has disappeared."

RELATED: Video captures coyote following San Francisco couple walking dog

Travis tells ABC7 they have had to cancel all their fundraisers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are now operating on half the funds with three times the animals.

Fremont police advise residents in the hills east of Mission Boulevard too keep pets indoors and make yards less attractive by bringing in pet food and securing other small animals and chickens in their pens or cages.

Anyone seeing a bobcat is warned not to approach the animal and to call the Animal Services Division, at (510) 790-6635.

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