Someone who lives near Cankton is urging neighbors to be on the lookout for a potentially dangerous wild animal.

According to a Facebook post by Lora Dean, a bobcat has been on the hunt near her home in southern St. Landry Parish. Based on the pictures she's posted, it's a big one.

Dean is not the only person who's spotted bobcats near her home lately. Other people who commented on her post said they had seen bobcats not only in the Cankton area, but also off Mills Road near Scott.

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According to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent Maria Davidson, the region has a large bobcat population, and their appearances in inhabited areas is not a surprise.

"There are bobcats throughout Acadiana," Davidson said. "I guarantee there are bobcats in the city limits of Lafayette. They basically live anywhere they can make a living, and even in urban areas, they eat smaller prey, and there's plenty of that in residential areas or a combination of rural and residential areas."

One person who commented on Dean's post suggested that he would hunt a bobcat if he saw one near his home.

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Under Louisiana law, this is allowed only if you have a big game hunting license. According to LDWF's trapping regulations:

A big game licensee shall only take bobcat during the time period from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset with approved archery equipment, shotgun, primitive firearm or center firearm. A big game licensee shall not take more than one bobcat per calendar year. This regulation applies only to property that is privately owned, state
WMAs, Kisatchie National Forest, and the Bayou des Ourses, Bonnet Carre, and Indian Bayou tracts owned by the Corps of Engineers, but does not apply to state wildlife refuges or other federally owned refuges and lands. On state WMAs the take of bobcat is restricted to those open seasons on the WMAs which require the respective legal weapons noted above (title 76.111). Bobcats cannot be pelted or sold without a trapping license.

Agent Davidson urges against hunting or shooting at bobcats if you see them in an inhabited space. She says they'll keep to themselves if you don't disturb them.

"Just let it be," Davidson says. "Let it move on on its own."

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