MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Officials believe a ferret-like animal called a fisher seriously injured a 5-year-old boy Friday in Detroit Lakes.

Police say a boy was rushed to the hospital after suffering a scratch after he tried to pick up what he thought was a large black cat on the 600 block of West Avenue.

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(credit: Defenders.org)

The severity of the scratch led hospital staff to believe it was not a cat. They eventually consulted with conservation officers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, who thought it could be a fisher or a raccoon with distemper.

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A neighbor approached officers who were searching the neighborhood and told them he saw a fisher a day after the attack. The animal has not been located.

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Parents and guardians are being urged to remind children not to approach unfamiliar animals. Officials also want to remind people to keep away from live animal traps they may come across in that area of Detroit Lakes, and to contact police or the city’s public works department if an animal is sighted in any of the traps.