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Video: Deputies rescue angry bobcat trapped in car grill

Deputies rescuing a bobcat stuck in a car (Screenshot/Portage County Sheriff's Office)
April 29, 2023

Deputies in Portage County, Wisconsin rescued a bobcat trapped in a car last week, intense video of the incident shows.

According to WASW, dispatch answered a call from a distressed citizen who stated, “I have a bobcat in my car.” 

The driver, who remains unidentified, reported a collision while driving but saw nothing on the road. When the driver pulled over to check for damage following the accident, the driver was confronted with the sight of a fully grown bobcat stuck in the car’s grill. 

While apparently unharmed, the bobcat wasn’t very happy about the situation. Responding deputies called in the expertise of Conservation Warden Bryan Lockman for aid in assisting the animal. 

Lockman managed to place a snare pole around the bobcat’s head, while a deputy pulled back on the broken grill in order to make enough space for the animal to be pulled out. Once freed, Lockman placed the cat into the back of a pickup truck. 

Sherrif Mike Lukas praised his deputies, identified by last name only as deputies Selvey, Stanton, Ashbeck, and the warden for their quick thinking in the incident on Facebook.  

“OK, this is a first,” said Lukas, before ending the post with ‘All in a day’s work at the Portage County Sherriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).”

According to WSAZ, Sherriff Lukas confirmed the bobcat was released back into the wild.

“We drove it back down to the location where the bobcat was struck,” Lukas said. “We wanted to put it back in the area in case the bobcat had young ones. This one was in great shape and was able to  get back out.” 

Sheriff Lukas also cautioned drivers to avoid attempting to free wildlife on their own should they find themselves in a similar situation. 

Wisconsin has shown a steady increase in bobcat population over the past several years, leading to a higher probability of human and bobcat encounters. 

According to The Patch, Wisconsin DNR’s recent population estimates have increased to an estimated 46,620 animals in the state. 

Bobcats are naturally shy animals and tend to avoid humans, making an encounter unlikely. They primarily hunt small rodents and avoid densely populated areas. 

Bobcats can present a safety concern if they are injured, approached near their dens, or physically ill. Concerned citizens are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency or DNR office if they notice a bobcat around their property.