COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado Springs woman picked up an injured adult bobcat and placed it in the back of her car, near her young child, wildlife officials said.

Injured bobcat in the back of an SUV (credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

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“NEVER PICK UP INJURED ANIMALS,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife exclaimed on Twitter. “This could have been tragic.”

“Luckily, it was too injured to react to being picked up and placed in a car,” CPW stated in its Twitter post.

District Wildlife Manager Sarah Watson responded to a call at 10 a.m. Wednesday from a woman who reported she had picked up a bobcat that was apparently struck by a car. Watson met her near Academy Boulevard and Woodmen Road and found the woman and her son, who she believed to be about 3 years old, standing outside their SUV.

“Officer Watson opened the back door of the SUV and was shocked to see a live bobcat peeking from beneath a blanket,” CPW officials stated.”

“Officer Watson ordered them to move behind her CPW truck and secured the very alert cat with a catchpole to put it in a large animal crate,” officials said. “The cat hissed and struggled and flashed its front claws.”

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Officials said the bobcat’s rear legs were paralyzed from the collision and it was humanely euthanized.

Watson spoke to CBS4 late on Thursday about the discovery of the animal, which she said “hissed and growled and swatted” when she first saw it in the car.

“They can do quite a bit of damage. They’re meant to bring down prey. A child of that size definitely wouldn’t have been an issue, unfortunately. But luckily it didn’t come to that,” she said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Sarah Watson

Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Sarah Watson (credit: CBS)

“We understand there are animal lovers out there, we just want people to know when they do find an injured animal of any sort that’s wildlife to give us a call.

Authorities are investigating the situation and it’s unclear so far if the woman might be cited for her actions.

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“It doesn’t matter if it’s a deer or a bobcat, it can pose a threat to you.”