By Shawn Chitnis

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Homeowners spotted a bobcat on their street in Thornton Thursday, and many were caught off guard even though a variety of animals roam near their development. Colorado Parks & Wildlife explains it is becoming a more common occurrence.

(credit: Jose Valadez)

“When I saw the print, I said, ‘Wow, that is a big print,’” said Jose Valadez.

His neighbor told him in the morning that there was an unusual animal on the street. Valadez then saw the print and grabbed his phone to take photos and video. He could not tell how large the animal was at first until he got a closer look. Valadez said it appeared to be the same as a medium size dog.

“It was a big cat,” he said. “It wasn’t a local.”

(credit: Jose Valadez)

The neighborhood is located near Lamberston Lakes Open Space. Valadez says it’s easy to spot coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks and owls from his house. Part of the attraction to those animals is the mix of trees and plants as well as the body of water near them.

“I lived in Colorado all my life and I’ve never seen any kind of cat,” he said. “They’re pretty rare.”

The animal is showing up in urban areas more often because of the source for food, water and shelter, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Homeowners should try to limit easy hiding spots for animals near their property including certain plants like shrubs. Smaller animals often attract larger wildlife. Pet owners need to be careful because they may be in danger from these creatures.

(credit: CBS)

CPW confirmed to CBS4 that the animal seen in Valadez’s photos is a bobcat. Other photos sent to CBS4 showed a similar animal in the same area. CPW said the features in both pictures were consistent with a bobcat.

“It’s kind of cool actually,” Valadez said of the sighting. “It’s just a reminder of where we live, it’s Colorado, one of the reasons we like it here.”

Shawn Chitnis

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