SOUTH PASADENA, California — When you live in a suburb, the last thing you’d expect to see is a bobcat, much less a family of wild cats growing up in your backyard.

What You Need To Know

  • Wildlife tends to venture out when it’s warmer

  • If your wildlife encounter is an emergency, call 911

  • Some wildlife may adapt their behaviors to be more active during the day and closer to humans

  • These animals may be searching for food, rearing young, or seeking mates

That’s what South Pasadena resident Ariel Carpenter noticed one afternoon while enjoying the view from her deck.

“So this area over here is where the bobcats had their den,” said Carpenter as she pointed from her deck. “It was a mom and two cubs and we got to observe from the deck and pretty much grow up right in this area here.”

For Carpenter, it was fascinating to see the suburbs and the wild collide, but she’s no stranger to seeing wildlife in her quiet neighborhood.

A bobcat spotted in South Pasadena (Nic Cha Kim/Spectrum News 1)


“It’s not uncommon for us to see coyotes and parrots. But bobcats? We rarely see bobcats,” said Carpenter.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the best thing to do when encountering a bobcat or any wild animal is to leave them alone. That also means not feeding them. Access to garbage, pet food and bird feeders can put both people and animals at risk.

“This time of year, we get a lot of calls about coyotes, bobcats, bears. We get a few mountain lion calls,” said Rebecca Barboza, wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “And they’re definitely picking up. As the weather warms up, we’ll be getting more calls because the animals will be getting more active.”

A bobcat spotted in South Pasadena (Nic Cha Kim/Spectrum News 1)


If you do encounter a wild animal and are injured, contact 911 immediately and report the incident to Fish and Wildlife.

“I think we’ve definitely been encroaching on their territory,” said Carpenter. “This is their land. So I think as residents, we have to be very respectful.”

A South Pasadena resident for over 17 years, Carpenter and her family moved to this house two years ago to get above the traffic. Now instead of cars, they’re enjoying bobcats.

“With the kids home from school, the bobcats were such a welcome distraction,” said Carpenter. “And it was particularly special for us to have them because they were able to kind of get their minds off of all the bad things happening in the world right now.”

Take a walk on the wild side. Just leave the wild animals alone.