Bobcats are scrappy little buggers, no doubt about it: taking down deer several times their size, tussling with coyotes, scrambling up towering saguaro cacti, prospering in burning desert and icy mountains alike...

Well, Thanksgiving Day turned up some new, and rather bizarre, evidence for the little bay lynx's toughness.

A motorist who set off from Gloucester, Virginia that morning pulled into the Virginia Commonwealth University parking lot in Richmond knowing she'd hit something or other on the 80-odd-kilometre (~50-mile) drive. She certainly, however, wasn't expecting to discover a bobcat – alive and wild-eyed – wedged into the grille of her car.

Summoned to the scene, local animal-control officials and Peters' father (along for the adventure given the holiday morning) managed to sedate the felid.

"And as he started to go limp, he started to drop a little bit lower," Peters told WTVR. "And really in reality the only thing holding him up was a wire … to his underbelly and one plastic piece under his ribcage."

A little manoeuvring, and within a few minutes the rescuers managed to free the bobcat, which was taken to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Despite its awkward and unwanted commute – and the collision that preceded it – the bobcat appeared surprisingly put-together upon extraction. According to a November 28 update in The Washington Post, the cat was a little more banged-up than initially suspected, with a deep cut on its back and bruises to its lungs, but it's now on the mend. Officials at the Wildlife Center told the Post, "If all goes well, the bobcat should be able to be released in about a month.”

This may have been a "Thanksgiving miracle" of sorts, but the fates were also at work a couple of months ago when a similar situation played out in Alberta, Canada. In early September, a woman hit a coyote between Airdrie and Calgary and assumed it was dead on the blacktop; as she waited at a stoplight, though, a construction worker notified her that the critter was actually jammed in the grille.

The coyote endured the crash and its uncomfortable high-speed journey with only minor injuries. After excavating the wild dog from the front end and making sure it was essentially all right, Alberta Fish and Wildlife released it:


Back in September 2014, meanwhile, a young coyote in northeastern Illinois ended up more worse-for-wear when he was struck by a Buick Verano and snared in its grille: he endured three broken legs (and an understandable bout of shock) in the ordeal. Thanks to the caretakers at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation – who named him Vern after the model of sedan that scooped him up – the coyote recovered and got to return to his free-roaming haunts (with quite a tale to tell).


Top header image: Lee Jaffe/Flickr