Bobcats with Rabies Attacks are Increasing
Bob McNally 08.10.17
Bobcat attacks on humans have surged this year, chiefly due to rabies in the feline species, which is considered rare by experts. Authorities caution that anytime a bobcat attack is documented, rabies should be strongly considered as the cause.
Animals and humans contract rabies from bites, scratches and even licks from infected animals. Early diagnosis is crucial for humans, because once symptoms are noted, people rarely survive.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) reports that over the last century rabies cases have greatly changed in America. Almost all modern rabies cases reported to CDC are in wild animals. Prior to 1960, most rabies was found in domestic animals.
Some rabid bobcat attacks documented this year include:
A January attack in North Port, Florida when a bobcat entered a home through an open door, and charged wildlife officers who arrived to catch and remove it. The cat scratched one officer, and was later tested and proved rabid. A second cat attack occurred the same week in another incident.
Also last January a rabid bobcat terrorized people in Colchester, Connecticut at a community center. The animal got into a building and scratched three women, and was later shot by a policeman responding to the attack.
Near Barre, Massachusetts in April a rabid bobcat rushed a pair of large dogs, and charged responding wildlife officers before it was shot.
Last June a New Jersey bobcat terrorized a women and her children inside their home, but escaped through an open door when police arrived. A few days later at a nearby home a bobcat attached a dog, but escaped. An hour later at another nearby residence the bobcat was captured and after testing proved rabid.
An elderly New Hampshire woman and her two dogs battled a rabid bobcat in late June. The cat bit her back and face before her son killed the rabid animal with a shotgun.
A Mount Lemmon, Arizona resident in late July killed a rabid bobcat as he protected his dogs during an attack.