A New Mexico mother was arrested and charged with child abuse after she let her 3-year-old son get too close to a bobcat exhibit at the zoo and the animal attacked, police said.
Courtney Hutchins, 21, took her son to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park in Carlsbad, N.M. on March 18, KRQE-TV reported. Police say Hutchins acted carelessly when they got too close to the enclosure -- the only way to do that being to climb over a railing.
One witness said Hutchins, her brother and son crossed the barrier and were coaxing the bobcat to come closer. The boy ended up with scratches and punctures to his head that required eight staples to close.
According to KRQE, Hutchins' brother said they were trying to pet the animal; Hutchins said she was just trying to be a good mom by taking her son to the zoo.