5-year-old girl wins staredown with backyard bobcat


CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — When you live in the suburbs, the backyard is a sanctuary, a place where the kids can safely play, especially if it’s fenced.

However, a Colorado family’s backyard turned out to be a dangerous place last week when a bobcat hopped the fence in chase of a rabbit.

Five-year-old Rian Woodard was riding her Big Wheel on the back patio of her Castle Rock home last Saturday when she saw the bobcat and locked eyes with it. Both she and the big cat froze, neither moving or breaking the stare for 22 seconds, then the feline finally flinched and sauntered away.

“It seemed like an hour. They locked eyes and just kind of stared at one another,” said Rian’s mother, Nicole Woodard.

“It was just kind of the old Wild West of the good, bad, and the ugly,” added Rian’s father, Eric Woodard.

Once the staredown was over, Rian ran inside her house to tell her parents about her brave encounter.

“There was no alarm whatsoever of any panic,” her dad said.

The girl’s parents were convinced the bobcat was likely just a large housecat.

“I thought maybe she was just being a little dramatic,” said her mom.

However, skepticism gave way to reality after Rian’s parents watched the footage captured by their backyard security camera.

“I think I was in shock. I was kind of terrified for her,” said Nicole Woodard.

Rian, though, stayed calm.

“She thinks she’s the bobcat whisperer now,” said her mom.

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