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Group of bobcats spotted in park near Calgary school

Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story said the bobcats were spotted at a Calgary school playground. It has since been clarified that they were seen at a park near the school.

Alberta wildlife officials are reminding the public that bobcats are not a safety concern — under most circumstances — after a group of the animals was spotted near a Calgary elementary school Tuesday night.

READ MORE: Photos capture bobcats hunting in southeast Calgary neighbourhood

Photographer Chris Malloy captured four bobcats in a park near W.O. Mitchell School in the city’s Silver Springs neighbourhood. He said they spent roughly an hour there, playing and chasing rabbits.

At first, Malloy’s wife “thought it was a family of foxes or something,” but upon a closer look he noticed “the sort of feline ears” of the animals.

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Click through the gallery below to see the bobcats in action

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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted
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Photographer Chris Malloy captured pictures of a group of four bobcats in a Silver Springs neighbourhood park Tuesday evening. Chris Malloy / Submitted

In a statement Wednesday, an Alberta Fish and Wildlife official said bobcats are not a public safety concern, “unless they are sick, injured, exhibit threatening behaviour or have resorted to preying on pets or farm animals, which is very rare.”

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“To prevent bobcats from coming to your neighbourhood, remove the food, shelter or water that may be attracting them,” the statement read.

A spokesperson with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) confirmed the school reported the sighting to Alberta Fish and Wildlife, who advised there was no threat to the students.

Tuesday’s bobcat sighting was not the first in Calgary this year. In February, a family spotted one of the animals in a backyard tree and in August, another family saw a group of bobcats hunting for rabbits in the Parkland neighbourhood.

While attacks against humans are rare, provincial officials do say to “keep cats indoors and supervise small dogs when they are in the yard” if bobcats are known to be in a certain area.

Malloy’s family owns a pet dog, that he said is “thankfully a little bigger” than the bobcats he photographed Tuesday night.

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