David DeBolt writes Feral cats have invaded the Oakland Coliseum:
Feral cats are having a “field day” at the Oakland Coliseum, according to stadium authority executive director Henry Gardner.
An estimated 30 to 40 cats and kittens have made the 130-acre property in East Oakland home, multiplying in population over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, Gardner told The Oaklandside.
“The good news is the cats have been on rat patrol and they have done an excellent job. We have not seen a rodent in almost two years,” Gardner said in a phone interview. “You have to give them an ‘A’ for dealing with the rodents but we don’t need as many in the army right now. We are overstaffed.”
The kittens, who are bold and “don’t know any better,” according to Gardner, have been spotted inside the Oakland Arena and baseball stadium on the outfield turf. Once a bustling complex with three professional sports teams, the Oakland A’s remain the only anchor tenant after the Warriors moved to San Francisco and the Raiders to Las Vegas.
Ann Dunn, director of Oakland Animal Services, estimates the cat population to be 40 to 50 and said “if you see that many, there are probably more.” Another feline colony across a canal from the Coliseum on Hegenberger Drive has easily another 100 cats, Dunn said.
“It’s a situation that is absolutely out of control,” Dunn said of the increasing cat population in Oakland. “The thing that is so heartwarming is everyone [at the Coliseum and Hegenberger] has the shared goal of doing what’s best for the cats. No one has asked us to remove the cats in a way that would harm them.”