WASHINGTON — A bobcat has lost one of its nine lives and is recovering after being hit by a car Thanksgiving morning in rural Gloucester County, Virginia.
The impact of the crash ended up embedding the adult female bobcat, into the car’s grill. It traveled that way for about an hour from Gloucester County to Richmond.
Dr. Alexa Ortiz, a veterinarian with the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro said [the driver] “thought she hit something but wasn’t sure.”
Ortiz said that since the driver didn’t see anything come across the road or anything behind her in her mirrors, the woman kept driving.
When the driver arrived at work in Richmond, she examined damage to her Prius and was stunned to see the bobcat lodged in the grill.
“Around 9 a.m., the Richmond animal control officer called me and said, ‘We have an adult bobcat that’s stuck in the grill of this lady’s car,'” said Ortiz.
Barbara Jones, an animal control officer with the Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC), responded to the scene but had to text her boss, RACC Director Christie Peters, for advice on such an unusual case.
Jones texted Peters, “I’m on call with a bobcat stuck on the grill of a car and [she’s] still alive. What do I do?”
Peters said she also had never handled such a case before and called Aaron Proctor with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He too said he’d never heard of such a situation before, but he guided her on how to sedate and handle the 19-pound animal.
Peters arrived at the scene, and after sedating the bobcat while it was still lodge into the car’s grill, the bobcat suddenly got heavy and dropped into her arms.
Peters said “a wire to the light and one piece of plastic” were the only things holding the bobcat up.
The bobcat is being treated at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
“She [the bobcat] had a wound along her back, kind of on the midline that we sutured together,” Ortiz said, describing the animal’s injuries. “She had bruising of the lung tissue, which can happen when you have a high impact from a car collision. And she also had kind of head trauma when she came in and seemed to have a little trouble with her vision.”
Ortiz said the bobcat is recovering and doing a lot better.
“She’s bright and alert and definitely feisty, growls at you.”
Ortiz said the bobcat will be released back to the wild in Gloucester County, close to where the accident happened, later in December.