The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department had to issue a warning after a woman picked up an injured bobcat on the road and placed it in her SUV next to her toddler’s car seat. Luckily, the child was unharmed since the bobcat’s injuries prevented it from moving.
The agency advised drivers to “never pick up wild animals,” but instead to contact the wildlife department. The agency tweeted several messages regarding the incident in which they stated that they removed the mortally wounded bobcat from the woman’s car but lamented that the consequences of picking up a dangerous wild animal could have been tragic.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Sarah Watson responded to the call regarding an injured bobcat last Wednesday. The unrestrained feline was placed in the back of an SUV under a blanket with a child's car seat just a few feet away. Although bobcats prey mostly upon rabbits and hares as well as chickens, geese and other birds, small rodents, and deer, they have been known to attack humans.
This is the sight that greeted @COParksWildlife officer Sarah Watson when she responded to a call about an injured bobcat on Wednesday. An unrestrained wild bobcat in the back of an SUV under a blanket. A child's car seat was just feet away. NEVER PICK UP WILDLIFE! pic.twitter.com/x8GXL0zvNv— CPW SE Region (@CPW_SE) September 19, 2019
In July, a family of five, including a 4-year-old girl, was attacked by a bobcat at an Arizona campground. The group was at the Shannon Campgrounds in Mount Graham when a bobcat entered their campsite. The bobcat first attacked the 4-year-old girl, which prompted other family members to hit, kick and grab the animal to get it off her.
Tyler Ray, 34, told deputies that after grabbing the feline, he ended up "rolling on the ground with the bobcat." The animal eventually ran off, but the five victims, ages 4 to 63, sustained bite marks, scratches, and cuts to the hands, thighs, faces and heads.
In the United States, there are approximately one million bobcats. Most weigh between 11 and 30 pounds and are roughly twice as big as the average housecat. Although attacks by bobcats on humans are relatively rare, they can be aggressive if sick or rabid. Experts advise that if you encounter a bobcat, you should back away slowly and deliberately, avoid running away because that could trigger a pursuit response, and if possible, spray the animal with water or make a lot of noise.