Bobcat struck by car near US-31, flees scene

August 19, 2014
Photo courtesy of Dan Zuniga

A bobcat lies on the pavement along Polk Road near US-31 in Hart yesterday after being struck by a car. It jumped up and ran away from authorities who were trying to help it. It’s possible the animal may survive its injuries.
-Photo courtesy of Dan Zuniga

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART TOWNSHIP — A bobcat that was struck by a car and injured yesterday on Polk Road near the US-31 overpass dashed away from authorities who were trying to help it.

The approximate 30-pound feline that lied on the pavement for several minutes may have survived its injuries, authorities said.

“We attempted to give it aide and it ran off on its own will,” said Oceana Animal Control Officer Mike Garcia. The animal may have been stunned or possibly suffered a concussion as it lay on the pavement, Garcia said. “That cat took off like a shot,” he said. “He jumped three leaps in 20 feet.” The animal control officer attempted to capture the bobcat with a snare pole, which is the same equipment used to capture dogs. As Garcia got in close to trap it, the cat suddenly leaped up and ran into tall grass near the road. The grass in that area is extremely thick and tall — over a person’s head.

Also at the scene attempting to help the animal were DNR Conservation Officer Ben Shively and Hart Police Chief Dan Leimback, Garcia said. If the animal had been captured, it may have been able to go to a rehabilitation site to heal its injuries. If the injuries were too severe, it may have been put down. Authorities did not have enough time to determine how severe its injuries were before it fled. It’s possible that the bobcat may survived based on its ability to run away.

Leimback was the first officer on the scene. “It laid there for while and then got up and bounced into the tall grass by the overpass,” he said. As it lay there, it did move around a little bit, he recalled. “It started moving around and then laid down,” the chief said. “It was bleeding from the mouth. It was breathing real hard and lifted up its head, trying to move.” He said the bobcat did not make any other noises, like growling or hissing.

When it sprang up from its laying position, “it moved quickly,” the chief said, and it was “favoring one of its back legs.”

Authorities did not have enough time to determine whether the bobcat was male or female.


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