Woman Tries To Rescue A Car Hit Bobcat - Takes Risks... Many Thoughts!

StefanZ

Advisor
Thread starter
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
24,084
Purraise
7,806
Location
Sweden
I have read about a woman in Colorado USA whom the other day tried to rescue a car hit bobcat laying on the road. She stopped her suv with her infant boy in backseat. She took pity on it. Took out a blanket, wrapped the animal into blanket, carried it to her car, laid down in the backseat near where her infant boy was strapped- Phoned the wildlife authorities on what to do next... Surely hoped for an animal ambulance taking the fellow to some suitable shelter for wild life care... But they got scary, told her to take immediately out her child and close the doors with bobcat inside.... Said and done. After a while come an officer of the wildlife authority, managed to get the bobcat into some sort of carrier, although it was rather aggressive even if severely hurt.... After a while the officers decided it was too hurt to try and save it, and shot it on place.
Now they go out with warnings; never ever take in such a potentially dangerous wildlife, and they hint strongely the woman was not only careless and taking big risks, but also hint was very stupid.

One of the links, there are more:
Woman puts injured bobcat in back of SUV with young child

Some of my comments.

1. Risky and stupid? especielly as she had her infant there too just centimetres from the animal. Yes, but also - very very nice.
I salute this woman, a true Mensch. If anybody knows whom this person is, please let me know, so I can thank her properly.

2. Taking in an injured cat, especielly a ferale, may also present essentially the same dangers.
Look, a big Maine Coon whom happened astray, is essentially of the same size as this bobcat here in this story...
So, do help out as well you can and want, but dont take stupid risks... Minimalize the risks as much as you can. Yes, wrapping in a blanket is a good beginning.

3. The cat was hissing and defensive when the Animal Care officer moved it. BUT it apparently didnt say anything when the woman moved it. Apparently, because she wouldnt lay a hissing and aggressive bobcat centimetres from her infant son, no?
There may be several explanation why the bobcat was calm and willing with her but aggressive later on... ONE explanation was, he understood she was going to help it. Connection soul to soul? Why, maybe even the infant had a calming influence. Cubs and kittens are non threatening. So he accepted the help given and did copied as well he could.
As is btw common with hurt ferales we try to help... (and if they do accept our help and if they survive, they typically do socialize quickly and easily).

But it justly felt, when the female officer come, she was a potential threat. She perhaps was also ungentle?

I understand not all sagas have a pretty and nice end. This hadnt. Im just grateful this fantastic, goodhearted woman and her child didnt got hurt, not physically at least....
 

GreyLady

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
398
Purraise
784
Location
Maryland
Well first off, a bobcat is a very wild animal so it's normal for it to be aggressive.. but it also could have became aggressive and aggravated when all the officers, cars, people started showing up and making a fuss and trapping it alone in the car. Animals can definitely sense chaos and intentions and when something weird is going on.

I think it was nice what she did but I wouldn't have done it with a baby in the back seat. The bobcat could have freaked out and injured the child badly.

She probably should have moved the baby up front (wait but I think that's against the law? maybe?) and put the bobcat in the back.

Honestly she should have called local wildlife rescue :/ Not the police. They shot it.... I mean I don't know how injured it was but that makes me sad

I agree it's nice intentions though, probably a very nice lady.
 

PassifloraFoetida

Perpetual cat bed
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 27, 2019
Messages
21
Purraise
45
Location
Norway
I actually used to work in wildlife rehabilitation when I lived in the US, and caring for big cats like bobcats was a part of my every day job. I think it's important to remember that unlike domesticated cats, bobcats are wild animals that have not been bred specifically over many generations to cohabitate with humans. They have a natural fear of humans and they will attempt to defend themselves if they feel threatened. A scared bobcat, even a young one, can do some pretty serious damage to a person, and an injured animal is probably even more likely to lash out. That's not to say that large, feral, domestic cats can't seriously injure a person as well, but generations of selective breeding have made domestic cats significantly less aggressive than their wild counterparts.

I think it's also important to remember that an animal that has been injured by a car may not always be able to react immediately (kind of like when humans go into shock), and that its initial reaction isn't typically a good indication of whether or not that animal will remain calm. Wild animals can be pretty unpredictable even in cases where they are familiar with a specific human and spend a lot of time interacting with them. I've personally seen animals reactively injure their handlers, and I have been on the receiving end several times myself.

I do applaud the woman's willingness to help, and I acknowledge that it's a tricky situation to navigate, but I personally think she made the wrong choice to put the cat in the car with her child without an adequate means of separating them. I also agree with GreyLady that, assuming she hadn't tried, she might have benefited from contacting a wildlife center over the police, but that's not necessarily a guarantee depending on the how far away the nearest facility is and what their budget allows in terms of rescue. My facility didn't have the budget to perform regular rescues. Though, I do think most facilities would have found a way to get some folks out there to help if they knew that an untrained person might put themselves at risk trying to help an injured bobcat. Either way, I'm sure the woman in the story is a lovely person who wasn't aware of the seriousness of the risk she was taking. How to safely interact with injured wild animals isn't common knowledge in many places, and though her intentions were good, she was quite lucky that neither herself or her child was harmed.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
28,713
Purraise
39,053
Location
Colorado USA
Gracious sakes how did I miss this?
If I'm able to find out how to contact her, I'll let you know :) it is possible that she's remaining anonymous, either by personal choice or because the various authorities are keeping her name private.
 
Last edited:

PassifloraFoetida

Perpetual cat bed
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 27, 2019
Messages
21
Purraise
45
Location
Norway
Bobcats seem to be a hot topic lately... or at least they seem to be coming out a lot. Maybe it is something seasonal? My dad's freind saw a Bobcat in his backyard in Savannah, GA and I just saw this article about a lady who rescued a Bobcat kitten thinking it was a "really pretty" tabby:

Woman Mistakenly Rescues Wild Bobcat Thinking It Was A Domestic Kitten
Oh goodness. That's a huge coincidence. I could definitely see how they could make that mistake with a bobcat kitten. They really do look similar to some domestic kittens, don't they?
 

1 bruce 1

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
5,948
Purraise
14,427
Bad (or "stupid") choices don't always mean a person is stupid, and I think calling someone who maybe didn't think things through and thought with their heart before their head "stupid" is a stretch. Maybe the take home idea is if you come across this situation, park your car a safe distance away and keep the animal in view and call the wildlife department and wait until they arrive.
I picked up a stray Husky one day when I had two dogs caged in the vehicle I was driving. Good thing they were caged, there would have been a tremendous dog fight because the Husky wanted to eat my dogs and they wanted to eat him. No one was hurt because the dogs were all separate, but sometimes good intentions can lead to disaster.
Maybe the lady acted too quickly without considering what a bobcat can do to a human (let alone a baby), but she might have assumed the animal was too injured and too much in pain to react aggressively (hence, letting her wrap him up, carry him, etc.) But I don't think she sounds like a stupid person.
 

kashmir64

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
4,579
Purraise
7,857
Location
Arizona
I guess they can't all be like Gibs.
I don't think even I would mess with a wild Bobcat, not even if it was hurt.
Especially a hurt one. You never know what they will do when injured.
 

GreyLady

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
398
Purraise
784
Location
Maryland
I guess they can't all be like Gibs.
I don't think even I would mess with a wild Bobcat, not even if it was hurt.
Especially a hurt one. You never know what they will do when injured.
That's true, animals can get aggressive when they feel backed into a corner or vulnerable.

I think 1 bruce 1 has the right idea, keep an eye on them and call someone but don't touch unless you really know what you're doing
 
Top