SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A Texas woman told officials she was forced to call for help after an injured roadside creature she saved began to cause chaos inside her vehicle.
San Antonio Animal Care Services said one of their officers responded to the call last week regarding a once-reported lemur causing "havoc." She told the officer she was driving along in the evening when she spotted an injured animal on the side of the road.
"She saw the small, strange creature, thought it must’ve been a lemur, and used a towel to pick the animal up and put it in her vehicle," officials said in social media post Sunday.
While her intentions to help the animal were pure, the animal quickly became agitated, the post said.
The woman said she had to exit her vehicle and call for help to keep from getting injured by the animal, later identified as a ringtail – nocturnal creatures native to San Antonio.
‘A rare treat’ to spot a ringtail
The ringtail is a cat-sized carnivore resembling a small fox with a long raccoon-like tail, according to Texas wildlife officials. Its bushy tail is flattened and nearly as long as the head and body, with alternating black and white rings. They can be found statewide, but uncommon in lower Rio Grande and Coastal Plains of southern Texas.
While ringtails might look like a cross between a cat, fox and lemur, they are in the same family as raccoons and coatimundi, according to Animal Care Services.
"Their elusive nature makes seeing them in the wild a rare treat," the agency said.
Thankfully, the woman managed to get safely away from the wild animal while the officer carefully removed the ringtail from her car and into his transport vehicle.
The animal was then taken to an emergency veterinarian to be treated for its injuries. The following day the ringtail was transferred into the care of Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation.
Animal control officers remind animal lovers that if they see injured wildlife in the San Antonio area to call 3-1-1 and not approach it until help arrives.