We've previously discussed the negative impact that house cats can have on upland birds and other critters. Wild felines such as bobcats, on the other hand, are a naturally occurring part of the environment. They are not the same animal, as a Maine woman found out the hard way.
She was driving her van along a Maine state highway when a cat darted out in front of her. With no time to stop, she ran over the feline, badly injuring it. Thinking she'd struck a house cat, she scooped it up and headed toward Bangor, presumably in search of a veterinary clinic.
Trouble is, she hadn't struck a house cat—she ran over a very wild and now very ticked off bobcat.
According to the Bangor Daily News (BDN), as soon as the woman realized her folly, she pulled into a parking lot and opened every door to her van to let the cat escape. It partially did so, sliding underneath the vehicle to hide. The woman didn't have a cell phone, so a passerby called police, who responded with a game warden.
“I saw it had a hip and/or leg injury and was unable to walk,” Maine game warden Jim Fahey told BDN. “My estimation was it was going to be a mortal wound.”
The bobcat, a 20-pound adult, was euthanized. The woman who struck it had committed no crimes, so no charges were filed. She was, however, understandably distressed by the incident.
“Although this [case] seems amusing, one should always be careful handling injured animals and call [the] local animal control officer or game wardens when in doubt,” Bangor Police Sgt. Paul Edwards wrote in a news release.