Woman Bit Trying to Help Injured Bobcat

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Florida -- A Florida woman is recovering after trying to rescue a bobcat. When the woman found the animal it was disoriented and possibly in pain.

"It was crossing a six lane highway we don't know why," said Marti Ryan with Hillsborough Animal Control. "If it was already injured. We don't know if it was wandering because it has the symptoms of rabies. If it was driven out by the smoke from the well fires."

The woman was bit by the bobcat after throwing a towel over it. People who were driving by began to stop. Someone called 911 after several people gawking at the incident caused traffic to slow to a crawl.

Health officials plan to test the animal for rabies. To do that, they must euthanize it. When someone is bitten by a bobcat, raccoon or a fox, the animal must be put down to be tested. If the results come back positive, the woman will have to be given a series of shots.

Fish and Wildlife experts say it's important that people don't touch wild animals. They advise people not to approach the animal if it's hurt because they are more likely to be aggressive.

"Veterinary care is not always the answer to helping an injured animal," said Gary Morse with Fish and Wildlife Conservation. "In many cases, they'll recover without treatment.."

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