Bobcat picked up off Kingsbury may be a pet |

Bobcat picked up off Kingsbury may be a pet

A famished bobcat that had been seen slinking around homes in the Kingsbury Grade area in the last few weeks was captured Friday and taken to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for rehabilitation.

South Lake Tahoe police officers caught the cat after it had jumped into a garbage can near the Forest Inn Suites on Montreal Road near the state line.

Officers called the wildlife care facility for help when they discovered that the shy feline had been domesticated.

“The cat was not acting aggressively. It was real thin and had been declawed,” officer Chuck Owens said. “It’s probably somebody’s pet.”

California laws make it illegal to keep a bobcat or any other wild animal as a pet. In Nevada, however, it’s permissible to have a bobcat as long as the owner obtains the proper permits from the Nevada Division of Wildlife.

“It’s not real popular but there are some folks who have them,” said Game Warden Supervisor Rich Ellington. “Bobcats have a territory of about 20 to 30 miles and my guess would be that if you draw a circle around where it was found and then add about 10 miles, you could figure out approximately where it came from.”

Cheryl Millham, executive director of the nonprofit Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, is hoping the owner of the cat will come forward.

“She is so thin – she’s just a bag of bones,” Millham said. “We’re trying to figure out what she’s used to eating, maybe the owner can help us out. Then, if they’re from Nevada and can prove that it’s their cat, they can have her back.”

Meanwhile, the search will be on for a zoo or a wildlife refuge that is willing and permitted to take the about 1-year-old kitty in permanently.

“It will be at least a month before she’s ready to go,” Millham said. “And we can’t release her into the wild because she can’t catch her own food – she doesn’t have any claws.”

Bobcats, whose natural diet consists of mainly mice and rabbits, have always lived at Lake Tahoe’s shores, Millham said.

“They’re around but they’re not common anymore – there’s just too many loose dogs, too many houses, too many people and too many cars around here for them,” she added.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


CHP task force will combat organized retail crime


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the California Highway Patrol is collaborating with local law enforcement agencies to aggressively investigate organized retail crimes, make arrests, and recover stolen…

See more