Bobcat rides through Scottsdale in car grill

A couple driving to a Scottsdale restaurant Friday night hit a small animal that darted into their vehicle’s path on Camelback Road, near 64th Street.

A.J. Michaels and Susan Simpson thought they hit a cat and doubted the animal survived after being struck by a car going about 40 miles per hour.

But after reaching their destination, Michaels walked around his car and found a wild bobcat stuck in the grill of his Mazda sedan.

“We didn’t think any kind of animal could sustain that kind of hit,” Michaels said.

The bobcat was uninjured. No blood or wounds were visible and it wasn’t missing any hair, an Arizona Game and Fish spokeswoman said.

The bobcat remained so still and calm that Michaels and Simpson thought it might be comatose or dead. Simpson heard the bobcat rustling and realized they needed to call someone.

“We were trying to figure out who to call and ended up calling 911,” Simpson said. “[We told them] there’s a live bobcat behind the grill of his car, and we don’t know how to get it out.”

Scottsdale police officers responded and unsuccessfully tried to remove the bobcat before calling the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

“It somehow crawled in between the radiator and grill of the car,” said Lynda Lambert, Game and Fish spokeswoman.

Michaels said his car has a mesh-like plastic grill, which may have lessened the impact and enabled to bobcat to scramble into the large space between the grill and radiator.

Game and Fish officials tranquilized and removed the bobcat and took it to a rehabilitation center for evaluation, Lambert said. If healthy, the cat will be released away from Scottsdale city limits, Lambert said.

It was not immediately clear what gender the bobcat is, as officials cannot get too close without sedating the animal. One Game and Fish official said it was possible that the cat is a young male, because it made a “clicking noise” synonymous with juvenile bobcats searching for their mother.

Michaels and Simpson have chosen to name the bobcat “Bobbi,” keeping it gender-neutral for now.

Simpson studies Native American medicine, and firmly believes that all animals symbolize something. After their encounter with “Bobbi,” Simpson did her research and found that bobcats symbolize patience, introspection and revelation of secrets.

According to the Game and Fish Department’s website, bobcats rarely attack people, but if you have any small pets, like a domestic bird or house cat, it is best the keep them indoors, the website cautions. Bobcats can be found throughout Arizona, especially in rim rock and chaparral areas. They can also be found on the outskirts of urban areas, where food is readily available.


Article source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2015/01/03/scottsdale-bobcat-car-grill-uninjured-arizona/21230387/