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Back Bay's Babe a furry 'rockstar' mother

The bobcat and offspring with a cult-like following are the subject of a Sept. 9 lecture.

August 20, 2010|By Sarah Peters, sarah.peters@latimes.com

"Bobcats prefer to eat rabbits, squirrels and other small rodents and usually only interact with domestic animals in an occasional territorial dispute or in defense of their kittens," Newell said. "Babe is so unconcerned about people that she is frequently seen casually walking the trails within a few yards of equestrians, bikers and folks walking their dogs. It is always the humans who act surprised."

There are no known incidents of bobcats attacking people in Newport. However, one of the largest causes of unnatural death for bobcats are run-ins with motor vehicles, Newell said.

Three bobcats were killed recently along Coast Highway, with the most recent being on Aug. 16, Newell said.

Babe's first known mate, Buck, was killed while crossing Jamboree Road last year.

While not as famous as Babe, several of her earlier young — dubbed Galaxy, Salsa and Tabasco — are still around and are often spotted by the wildlife cameras Newell has set up throughout the bay area.

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It is not clear if Babe's most recent young have earned any monikers yet, but if they share the same "paparazzi" appeal as their mother, Newell will have his hands full with a whole new slew of images and comments.

"Babe is more famous than some rockstars … hundreds of reports and photographs come in to [O.C. Trackers] each season regarding this marvelous animal," he said.

If You Go

What: A presentation by members of Orange County Trackers

When: 6:45 p.m., Sept. 9,

Where: 2301 University Drive.

Information: For more about Babe, photos, and submit sightings, visit http://www.octrackers.com

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