HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A bobcat and her two kittens were spotted near an elementary school playground on Friday. After about an hour of searching, several Huntsville wildlife departments were unable to find the cats.

“We received a call from a gentleman who had spotted some wild bobcats, a mother and her cubs out near an elementary school,” said Alabama Wildlife Rescue Michael Treat. “He was concerned that there is a playground nearby, and he was concerned for the children.”

The man’s property backs up to the playground at Williams Elementary School. He first spotted the bobcats at about 7:30 Friday morning. He called Alabama Wildlife Rescue about two hours later.

“We do know the momma bobcat and her cubs are somewhere in the area at this point,” Treat said.

Huntsville Animal Control, local fish and wildlife services, and Alabama Wildlife rescue responded to the call and conducted the search. Treat said, had they located the bobcat during the search, she and her kittens would have been sedated and relocated to a local wildlife sanctuary.

Treat said bobcats are usually skittish around people, but because this bobcat has kittens, she may be defensive. He said you should never approach a bobcat, but if you find yourself near one, you may be able to scare it off with loud noises.

“I always say, when you encounter a wild animal, make yourself large,” Treat said. “Yell, clap, and they’ll typically run away.”

If you see the bobcat, you can call Alabama Wildlife Rescue at 256-801-1345.