HOUSTON – Drivers were doing double takes in a downtown Houston parking garage Tuesday when they spotted a bobcat lurking between cars.
The wild cat was first spotted around 11 a.m. at 511 Rusk, across from the Federal Building.
BARC crews were called and an animal control officer spotted the bobcat hiding beneath a car. She couldn't believe her eyes at first.
"I kept telling 'em, 'It's just a big cat. It's just a big cat,'" Tina Thomason said. "But it wasn't. It's definitely a bobcat."
She shot it with a tranquilizer gun, but that didn’t seem to faze the animal.
They tried again with a stronger tranquilizer. At first, the cat continued to roam from car to car.
"He was looking for a way out, but we had the entrances blocked," Thomason said.
About 90 minutes later, the bobcat finally dozed off and they were able to capture it.
"It takes awhile when there's a lot of excitement. You have to have it calm for the animal to go down when you give it the tranquilizer," said Chris Glaser with BARC.
The young bobcat was taken to BARC headquarters to be checked out by a vet. Then it was released into the wild at Brazos Bend State Park in Fort Bend County.
Glaser said the bobcat was probably looking for food and may have wandered into the downtown area from nearby Buffalo Bayou.
Bobcats are native to the Houston area, but it's rare to see them in heavily-populated areas.