Sources with DEEP: Bobcat tested positive for rabies

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Sources with DEEP confirm to News 8 tonight that the bobcat tested positive for rabies.

The bobcat attacked a golfer and a horse in Sprague Thursday morning.

The serene setting of an early morning golf game was brutally interrupted on the seventh hole at the Mohegan Sun Golf Club.

“We watched the guy hit the ball and then we watched the guy rolling down into a bunker,” said groundskeeper John Hernandez.

He was waiting to rake out the bunker when the 8:30 a.m. attack happened. The golfer’s friend helped fight off the bobcat with his club.

“We assumed there were two fighting, but from once we got up, we were in a little shock, as what we saw was the cat and the gentleman,” said Hernandez.

“It was a male was in his late 60s [that] was attacked by a bobcat,” said DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Sgt. Chris Dwyer. “Jumped on his back.”

The man suffered scratches on his back and head. DEEP officers tracked down the bobcat, which was euthanized and will be tested for rabies.

“It is extremely rare. However when we do get a rabid bobcat they are extremely aggressive, extremely violent,” said Sgt. Dwyer.

Bobcat attacks have happened only four times in Sgt. Chris Dwyer’s 20-year career. Sources with DEEP confirm to News 8 Thursday night that the bobcat tested positive for rabies. The other three cats were rabid too. He says the game of golf is still safe.

“You are a thousand times more likely to be attacked by your neighbor’s dog that you are wildlife here in Connecticut,” said Sgt. Dwyer.

Before attacking the golfer, that same bobcat is believed to have attacked a nearby horse. 

“The horses were running wild,” said owner Lee Osowski. “There were turkeys and deer in my paddock which I thought was very weird.

And then she saw her horse Bella had been attacked.

“It did tear a lot of skin above her eye,” said Osowski.

The horse is vaccinated against rabies, so she is protected against the deadly disease. But she did receive about sixteen stitches.

“He was able to save the skin,” said Osowski.

The golfer most likely will have to undergo a series of shots now to be vaccinated against rabies.

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