Exotic Cat Attack in Illinois Neighborhood

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Officers shoot caracal after it pounced on a mother and daughter, and then lunged at them

An Illinois mother and daughter were enjoying a stroll through their neighborhood when their walk took a terrifying turn. The two were attacked and injured by a caracal, a large cat native to regions of Africa and northwest India that can weigh anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds.

According to People, Bloomington police officials said the cat escaped from a nearby home and pounced on the child before the mother was able to pull her to safety.  

The caracal was shot after it lunged at the police and animal control officers. Officials located the cat's owner and reportedly issued several ordinance violations.

According to Big Cat Rescue, it's not illegal to own a caracal in Illinois, but other large cats such as leopards, ocelots, jaguars, lynx, bobcats and cheetahs are prohibited. Caracals typically eat birds, rodents and small antelope, but they're capable of killing larger prey.

The woman and her child were treated for puncture wounds and scratches.

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