Never, ever, ever, ever pick up wild animals.
A Colorado Springs woman and her family got lucky after her well-meaning but extremely dangerous actions last week could have had tragic results.
After finding an injured, male bobcat, she wrapped it in a blanket and placed it in the back seat, unrestrained, next to her 3-year-old child, who was in a car seat.
See this bobcat? Notice its large teeth? Imagine the claws within its big paws. A #ColoradoSprings woman picked up this injured wild cat and put it in her car where her child was seated! NEVER PICK UP WILD ANIMALS. She was lucky. Please call @COParksWildlife and let us handle. pic.twitter.com/ZbhlnmRwdH— CPW SE Region (@CPW_SE) September 19, 2019
A Colorado Parks and Wildlife SE Region officer responded to the call of an injured bobcat, only to find it in the car. The animal was unable to move its back legs due to its injuries, but it was still alert and agitated.
"The adult male bobcat was alert, hissing and growling, as Officer Watson secured it with a catchpole. It struggled and swiped at her with its front claws. Upon examination, she saw the estimated 25-pound bobcat's rear legs were paralyzed so she humanely euthanized the animal," said a CPW SE Region tweet.
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
Not only was this a bad situation for the animal, provoking extreme stress which can cause serious health consequences for wildlife, but had it been able to react, it could have caused massive damage. As there are seemingly more bobcat and mountain lion sightings this year, the CPW is calling for people to never pick up wild animals, no matter the reason. If you find an injured animal, contact the CPW to handle the situation. The same goes for finding seemingly abandoned baby animals. Often, their mother has left them in a secure place while she is off finding food, and she will be back.
Each year, CPW receives several calls from concerned citizens who think they have found an abandoned young animal or bird or have found an injured animal. While the agency says that these people are often well-meaning, handling these animals can do much more harm than good, in most cases.
Part of being a responsible citizen and protecting the state's wildlife is to do your research and understand what to do during encounters. Most of the time, when wildlife has to be put down, it's because of human interference. The CPW has tons of information on its website to help you learn more about co-existing with wildlife to ensure you and the animals remain safe.
"...no one should EVER try this," CPW tweeted about this recent bobcat incident. "This could have been tragic."
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