Bobcats in Kirkland? The felines native to Washington are regularly spotted in or near Eastside cities on the fringes of the Cascade Range, and Kirkland residents regularly see deer and coyotes.
But bobcats here? Yep, at least two recent sightings of bobcats have been reported in Kirkland, one around March 1 at Big Finn Hill Park and another earlier this year along the Cross Kirkland Corridor in the Houghton area.
The March sighting was reported on the Finn Hill Community Facebook page, with reaction in the subsequent comments ranging from mild alarm to thrill that the animals could still exist in the park. “Very cool that Finn Hill park is inviting to the wild furry critters!” one wrote.
The earlier sighting was reported to the Kirkland Parks Department.
“Jason (Filan), our operations manager, a month or so ago heard about a bobcat on the Cross Kirkland trail, in the Houghton area,” said Michael Cogle, deputy director of the Parks Department.
A photo was taken of that cat, and Patch is attempting to get a copy and post it here.
About three years ago, residents of a townhouse complex on the edge of Houghton’s Watershed Park reported a bobcat in adjacent woods of the park.
Bobcats weigh 20 to 30 pounds and pose virtually no danger to humans, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agency’s website reports they “are probably more common than most people realize. Bobcats appear to be using suburban settings more often, although due to their reclusive ways, they are not often seen.”
They prey on mice, voles, rabbits, gophers, mountain beaver, fawns, insects, reptiles, birds, carrion and occasionally domestic animals such as house cats and chickens.
We're curious about how often bobcats and other native animals are spotted in Kirkland. Have you seen one? Do you think it is important for the city to maintain habitat for wild creatures?