Bobcat spotted in Council Bluffs back yard

This animal, believed to be a bobcat, was spotted in a backyard in Council Bluffs. (Courtesy...
This animal, believed to be a bobcat, was spotted in a backyard in Council Bluffs. (Courtesy of Lynne Branigan) (WOWT)
Published: Jul. 9, 2019 at 1:59 PM CDT
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A woman photographed an animal, believed to be a bobcat, visiting her backyard in Council Bluffs.

Granted, Lynne Branigan and Gardner Broadbent's yard looks more like a forest than a backyard, so they're used to animals hanging around.

"I've lost track of the number of times I've come out and scared deer. Just hanging out in the grasses taking a nap," Branigan said.

But Saturday something caught her eye outside of the window.

"We came to the window, and we determined later that it was a bobcat," she said.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said bobcats are 1 of 3 wild cats that are native to the state; lynx and mountain lions are the other two.

The bobcat is the only permanent full-time resident, Iowa DNR said.

The pair tells 6 news the bobcat hopped on top of the birdbath and was drinking the water.

"When he jumped back down, he went through here and into the woods," Branigan said.

Broadbent welcomes the wildlife to their backyard.

"As a matter of fact right after it happened, I went straight out and refilled the birdbath," he said.

Branigan and Broadbent make sure their cats are secured in a cage on their deck when they're outside.

"I don't even like to think about that. My cats are safe," Branigan said.

The pair hopes to see the bobcat again, they promise to keep the birdbath full.

"The wildlife doesn't scare us, as a matter of fact, I think it attracts us more to this area," Broadbent said.

The photo of the wild cat was verified by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to in fact be a bobcat.

They're a rare sight to see in residential areas and the DNR says if you happen to see one, take a moment to enjoy the view.

What to do

If you and your family, even your furry family, are out enjoying the summertime weather and you happen upon a bobcat, don’t panic.

Experts advise that you immediately protect your children and pets, then back away slowly — but don’t turn and run, or you might look like prey.