Large exotic cat mauls woman and toddler on Illinois sidewalk after it escapes from a nearby home

The woman and her toddler, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were strolling on the sidewalk around 11 am when the caracal attacked the child.


                            Large exotic cat mauls woman and toddler on Illinois sidewalk after it escapes from a nearby home

An Illinois mother and her child were severely injured after they were both brutally mauled by an exotic feline in an Illinois residential neighborhood on Sunday. 

The woman and her child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were strolling on the sidewalk in Bloomington around 11 am when a caracal, which is a medium-sized wild cat similar to a lynx, lunged at the child. When the mother intervened in a bid to save her child, the wild cat attacked her as well. Both of them suffered scratches and puncture wounds, according to a  WMBD report. 

A neighbor filmed the animal from inside his home on Locust St. "What the hell is this thing? This is just walking around out there," the man is heard saying in the clip. "It's a bobcat or something." A woman inside the residence responds by saying, "Well call 911!"

A neighbor filmed the exotic animal from inside his home. (Image taken by Von Sullivan of Bloomington)

The cat reportedly tried to attack a police officer and a member of animal control when they responded to a call from a home on the 100th block of Locust St. The cop who was attacked shot the cat in self-defense and captured it. However, the animal later succumbed to injuries.

As of now, the mother and child are being treated for puncture wounds from bites and scratches after the animal clawed them both. According to certain media reports, the victims went to the hospital on their own.

The owner of the caracal, who stays in Bloomington, was later cited for multiple ordinance violations.

According to the Big Cat Rescue, caracals are often referred to as the desert lynx and were once trained for hunting birds in Iran and India.

The species does not possess the same physical attributes of the lynx family, especially the characteristic ruff of hair around the face. In fact, it has a short, dense coat with colors ranging from a uniform tawny-brown to brick-red.

The backs of a caracal's ears are black and topped with long black tufts about 1.75 inches long — a characteristic they share with members of the lynx family. That said, it is the largest and most formidable member of Africa's small cats. Males weigh up to 40 pounds while females weigh as much as 35. Among other dimensions, they stand between 16-20 inches tall and are usually 35-39 inches long.

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