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On a dark night in Wisconsin, a driver faced an unexpected and harrowing situation when they struck an animal crossing the road. The driver, traveling south of Plover near U.S. Interstate 39, discovered that the animal they hit was not only alive but also trapped in the car’s grille. Upon realizing the severity of the situation, they immediately called for help. Deputies from the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, led by Sheriff Mike Lukas, responded to the scene.
The deputies were surprised to find that the animal was a bobcat that had broken through the front grille and survived. Uncertain about how to handle the situation, they called in reinforcements. Conservation Warden Bryan Lockman arrived to help free the trapped wildcat.
Bodycam footage from the scene shows the deputies surrounding the car while the Conservation officer used a pole to try and free the bobcat. The trapped and cornered animal hissed at its rescuers and occasionally swiped at them with its large paws. The deputies donned thick gloves for protection as the officer continued his efforts.
After a challenging struggle, the officer managed to loop the uncooperative bobcat with the pole and slowly pulled it out of the grille. Once free, the wildcat went ballistic, thrashing like a powerful fish on the end of a line. The officer quickly tossed the bobcat into a covered pickup truck bed, and the deputies closed the tailgate as it jumped and spun around inside.
Remarkably, the bobcat sustained no injuries from the incident. It was released back into the wild, allowing it to return to its natural habitat. Plover, where the accident occurred, is about 87 miles west of Green Bay.
This incredible story of a trapped bobcat serves as a reminder of the importance of wildlife safety while driving. By slowing down, being vigilant, and giving animals space to cross, we can help prevent such encounters and protect both humans and wildlife.
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