Lifestyle Pets Mother and Daughter Attacked by Exotic Cat After Animal Escapes from an Illinois Home Caracals are typically found in regions of Africa and northwest India and can weigh anywhere between 25-40 pounds By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Twitter Joelle Goldstein is a TV Staff Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle oversees all things TV and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians, Dancing with the Stars and America's Got Talent for "work". Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 24, 2019 08:20 PM Share Tweet Pin Email An Illinois mother and daughter were left injured and terrified after being attacked by a rare exotic cat while walking through their neighborhood. The large animal, which Bloomington police officials identified as a Caracal, was reportedly living in a nearby home but had escaped, CI Proud reports. The frightening encounter occurred over the weekend, while a mother and her child were enjoying a Sunday stroll through their Bloomington neighborhood, according to the outlet. Their walk took a terrifying turn, however, when the pair came across the Caracal which was also walking down the sidewalk before it launched its attack. Bloomington Police Department responded to the scene just before 11 a.m., where they were reportedly informed by residents that the large cat had pounced on the child before the mother was able to distract it and bring her daughter to safety. RELATED VIDEO: Can I Own an Exotic Animal? Once police and animal control arrived, the Caracal was shot after it lunged at them, CI Proud reports. Officials were also able to locate the owner of the cat and reportedly issued several ordinance violations. It is not illegal to own a Caracal in the state of Illinois, though similar animals, such as leopards, ocelots, jaguars, lynx, bobcats, and cheetahs, are prohibited, according to Big Cat Rescue. The woman and her child luckily did not suffer any life-threatening injuries but were treated for puncture wounds and scratches, CI Proud reports. Bloomington Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. Woman Attacked by Zoo Jaguar Apologizes For Incident; Big Cat Will Not Be Euthanized Caracals, which are similar to a lynx, are typically found in regions of Africa and northwest India and can weigh anywhere between 25-40 pounds, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. They are sometimes referred to as desert lynx because of the long, black-furred tufts on their ears, according to the biology institute. As carnivores, the Caracal usually preys on birds, rodents, and small antelopes, according to the Smithsonian. Big Cat Rescue reports that they will not hesitate to kill prey larger than themselves. Caracals, who are excellent jumpers, were also once trained for bird hunting in Iran and India and are capable of knocking down 10-12 birds at once, according to Big Cat Rescue.