Mom and daughter hospitalized after exotic cat attack

The mom and her six-year-old daughter were attacked in their Illinois neighborhood by a caracal, an exotic cat typically found in the wild in Africa and Central Asia.
1:56 | 06/25/19

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Transcript for Mom and daughter hospitalized after exotic cat attack
Get your DNA kit today at Ancestry.com. We are back with that exotic cat attack. A child and mom sent to the hospital after encountering this animal roaming the streets and Paula Faris is here with this. I was surprised it's not illegal to own one of these. That's two of us. It is not illegal in the state of Illinois. It is especially dangerous around children and the elderly. This mother and child were out for a neighborhood stroll when the animal attacked. A mother and her daughter were hospitalized after an attack by an exotic cat seen prowling the streets of Bloomington, This is just walking around right now. Oh, my god. It's a bobcat or something. Reporter: But we now know it wasn't a bobcat. It was a caracal. It's a small cat typically found in the wild in Africa and central Asia capable of leaping 12 feet in the air to attack its prey. This one was a pet in a nearby home. It had escaped and pounced on the child before the mother was able to distract it and rescue her child. A bunch of small kids in this area, so we kind of keep an eye on them as a neighborhood. That was scary for the two kids as well as the woman that was attacked. Reporter: Caracals are not illegal in the state of Illinois. Wildlife expert Ron Magill says keeping cats like this as pets despite it being legal in many states is increasingly dangerous. We've got to get across to people's minds that these exotic animals are not meant to be pets. The mother and child, they were treated for puncture wounds and scratches. Now, this animal lunged at animal control, was subsequently euthanized. The animals usually pay the ultimate price with their life. You can take them out of the wild but you can't take the wild out of the animal. Raises the question why you would have one in the first place? Dangerous when they get loose. Thank you, Paula. Coming up, "Play of the day."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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