WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Police in New Jersey say a bobcat cornered a mother and her two young children in the bathroom of their home, prompting a police response.
The Morris County family called police Wednesday evening to report that a bobcat had somehow gotten into their home, Lt. Douglas Compton said.
NJ.com reports officers opened all of the doors and windows in the house to coax the bobcat into leaving.
Washington Township police Sgt. Robert Oranchak says the bobcat left after about an hour. He says it didn’t appear to be sick or rabid.
The animal did not make any contact with the family or the officers.
Compton said this is the first time the department has reported an encounter like this.
“But it is the time of year to make sure your doors and windows are secured when you leave,” Compton said. “To avoid any type of creature entering your home.”
The Washington Township Health Department and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife were notified of the encounter.
DEP spokesperson Lawrence Hajna said a he had not heard of a bobcat entering a residence in his ten-plus years on the job.
One of New Jersey’s only species of wild cat, bobcats generally weigh between 18 to 35 pounds and are about two feet tall, larger than a housecat but smaller than a cougar or lion.
Bobcats are reclusive and hard to track, so there are no population estimates available. Their territory is in the northern part of the state, particularly in the northwest, where it is hilly, rocky, and wooded.