Bobcat caught in busy neighborhood

Hunting for coyotes, neighborhood catches bobcat

Published On: May 06 2013 11:37:07 PM EDT   Updated On: May 07 2013 05:26:10 AM EDT
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -

After reports of roaming coyotes, a local neighborhood set a trap, but ended with a bigger surprise than they bargained for -- a bobcat.

The wild animals have been roaming the populated area around The Esplanade condominiums in the Vizcaya neighborhood between Big Sand Lake and Little Sand Lake in Orange County. That's when the homeowner's association set a trap in the dog walk area, hoping to catch the animals before they catch someone's pet.

"We were very surprised when we found that we didn't exactly catch a coyote, we caught something much larger and more dangerous," said The Esplanade Homeowner's Association President, John Jeffcoat III. "It's the first time I've heard of any kind of wild animal that could be predatory or threatening in the area and we didn't want to just do nothing and ignore it."

There have been two coyote sightings and now a bobcat.

It all comes after a woman said a coyote killed her dog right in front of her in the Willow Wood subdivision, not far away. Her neighbors also reported seeing a bobcat recently in their neighborhood.

The trap has been reset to catch the coyote, but until then dog owners plan to keep their pets a little closer.

"Obviously, we don't want anybody to have their dog snatched off the leash, but also they could potentially present a problem if there were small children," said Jeffcoat. "Be careful if you're walking a little tiny dog on a leash or in particular if you have very small children with you. just be aware we're in an area where there are wild animals."

The Vizcaya HOA plans to tell everyone about what's been going on in a meeting this week, but also said there have not been any reports of animal attacks in their area.

However, the community manager for the Willow Wood neighborhood said Monday she is still working with the HOA's insurance company before deciding to set traps in their neighborhood.