Las Cruces police are warning residents of the potential dangers of predatory cats roaming residential neighborhoods.
About noon on Friday, Oct. 16, a homeowner near Veterans Park spotted what he described as a dark-color cougar or mountain lion in a neighbor’s tree. The witnesses watched as the big cat jumped from the tree and scampered away, possibly into the undeveloped area between the High Range Neighborhood and the Las Cruces Dam.
Unfortunately, no photo of the big cat was taken.
Cougars, mountain lions and bobcats are known to frequent residential neighborhoods mostly during times of drought and when food is scarce in higher elevations. Big cats have been known to feed off wild rabbit, squirrel and domestic pets.
Residents in the High Range and Sonoma Ranch neighborhoods should take the necessary precautions in protecting their dogs and cats. Big cats primarily feed between dusk and dawn but have been seen during daytime hours.
Anyone who sees a predatory cat should refrain from approaching or causing it harm. If necessary, call Las Cruces Animal Control at (575) 526-0795 or the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish at 888/248-6866.