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Bobcat Spotted Near Portola Elementary

Being close to Sweeney Ridge and in a hilly part of the city, the bobcat sighting was not uncommon, the principal said. But precautions were taken to keep the campus safe.

A bobcat was spotted twice this week near , the school's principal said. 

The bobcat, described as weighing about 25 pounds, was seen lying in the large grassy field to the east of the school on Wednesday and Thursday. It didn't approach anyone and didn't appear threatening to any of the students or staff, said Principal Charlie Rohrbach. 

The school immediately notified authorities, and police were called out to escort it off the property. Parents were notified with several messages. 

"The conclusion was that we are not in danger, but that we do need to exercise caution while at school, especially for those families who use the back path when walking up to the school," Rohrbach said. 

According to the California Department of Fish and Game, bobcats—normally two or three times as large as, and appearing more muscular than, domestic cats—are generally secretive and solitary and don't confront humans (see attached). Although most active at night, it is not unusual to see them during daytime. They mostly prey upon rabbits, rodents and a variety of other small, wild animals. 

Rohrbach said that the school doesn't expect any more bobcats sightings, but staff would call police again if another one was spotted. 

"I've just come to the realization that we share our habitat with these animals," he said. "The lesson to everyone is that we need to keep our eyes open and respect nature."

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Carol March 02, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Thanks so much for the info Martin!
Rob Chapman March 03, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Wow. I live just around the corner from the school. In fact, I went to Portola from 1978-84. I've seen bobcats across Sneath lane in the land owned by the jail, but I've never seen them come over to the neighborhood before. Glad no one was hurt.

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