An Arizona bobcat may be counting how many lives it has left after it was struck by a vehicle and carried along alive and unhurt in the grille of a Mazda sedan. According to The Arizona Republic, A.J. Michaels was driving to a restaurant near Scottsdale with his girlfriend Susan Simpson when their journey was interrupted by a small bump in the road. At 40 miles per hour, Michaels assumed that nothing that size could have survived the collision. However, when he and Simpson later inspected the car for damage, they found a calm and rather bored-looking bobcat sitting behind the grille.
“We didn’t think any kind of animal could sustain that kind of hit,” Michaels said.
He suspected that the cat hit the perfect spot in the comparatively soft plastic grille and became wedged inside. There it sat in relative comfort for the duration of the ride, and Michaels described the seven-pound animal as being relatively calm. Wildlife officers, however, were not willing to a treat a wild animal like a house cat. Employees from the state Game and Fish Department arrived after police officers were unable to coax the cat out. After debating shortly over how to retrieve the feline, Game and Fish personnel decided to tranquilize the cat and transport it to a rehabilitation center for testing. The bobcat will be kept there temporarily and evaluated for any possible diseases. If it is healthy enough, it will be released back into the wild.
“I would say his condition is amazing,” Game and Fish staffer Geoffrey Hossack told KPHO. “It’s unheard of that an animal this small is going get hit by a vehicle and survive.”
According to the Game and Fish Department, bobcats are very common throughout Arizona. They are especially numerous on the outskirts of urban areas, and are most active around sunset and sunrise. They are not considered a threat to humans, and generally will shy away from human encounters.
You can see a video of the bobcat below: