ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexicans are no stranger to wildlife but one Albuquerque woman was shocked to see a very brave bobcat in her backyard. Renee Sanchez was having her morning coffee at her home near Irving and Golf Course when she looked out the window and saw a bobcat lounging in her backyard. 

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Sanchez explains, “We have lived here for 21 years and we see coyotes all the time, we see other critters but we’ve never seen a bobcat. That’s not to say I didn’t know they were around, of course, they are, but we’ve never seen one so it was shocking.”

She says there’s a large hill in her backyard where she often sees rabbits and squirrels. She believes the bobcat came in from the arroyo and made its way down the hill into the yard. 

The family believes the big cat even killed one of those rabbits. Sanchez called 311 and was directed to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. They told her they couldn’t send someone out to relocate the cat because it is a protected animal. 

A spokesperson with Game and Fish says these kinds of things happen in urban New Mexico and shares why this bobcat might have been so unbothered. “Bobcats in nature are very cavalier animals and so they kind of put up that front as they move around. They can also become very habituated with human presence in the area and looking to use for food and water sources,” explains Tristanna Bickford.

Sanchez says the bobcat lingered around for about 40 minutes before she turned on the sprinklers and the bobcat took off. Officials suggest if you encounter a wild animal the best thing to do is give it some space to leave the area. They also encourage people to keep their small pets indoors and remove any water or food sources that could attract wildlife.