A New Mexico woman is charged with child abuse after her son was mauled by bobcat at the zoo, allegedly because she took the boy across a protective barrier to get a closer look at the cat.
Police say 22-year-old Courtney Hutchins ignored warning signs last month and hopped a metal barrier to the bobcat enclosure, NBC station KOB TV reported.
Hutchins’ brother, who was also at the zoo that day, told police they were petting the cats, according to a criminal complaint.
A bobcat grabbed the child by the head and pulled him toward the protective fence, severely injuring him.
Eight staples were required to close the wound in the boy’s head, according to the station.
Witnesses told police the three crossed the barrier and were coaxing the animal closer, reportedly right in front of a warning sign.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reported that Hutchins was arrested April 9 and released on $5,000 bond.