Connecticut golfer fights off rabid bobcat in a fairway attack

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A foursome of golfers was gathered near a fairway bunker on the seventh hole of the Mohegan Sun’s golf course in Sprague, Connecticut, Thursday morning when a rabid bobcat attacked one of the men, according to local authorities. The golfer reportedly fought off the animal with his club.

“[The bobcat] jumped on his back; he was able to fight it off with a golf club,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officer Sgt. Chris Dwyer said to Connecticut station WFSB. “He thought it was dead as he walked a few steps away. It ended up jumping back up and taking off on him.”

All golfers were immediately cleared from the course and the victim, believed to be in his 60s, was transported to a hospital around 9 a.m. He had cuts to his back and the back of his legs, according to Dwyer.

The bobcat was tracked down by DEEP police in a nearby culvert and later euthanized.

“In my 20 years with the DEEP I’ve only had three rabid bobcats,” Dwyer said. “They are extremely aggressive, extremely vicious when they do have the rabies virus. . . . Usually those types of incidents are associated with a sick animal.”

The bobcat tested positive for rabies Thursday afternoon.

The bobcat had attacked a horse at a farm less than a mile from the course earlier in the day. The horse had cuts on its neck and eye, but received veterinary treatment Thursday and was expected to make a full recovery.

Bobcat attacks on humans are rare. The last reported attack in Connecticut came in 2014, according to DEEP.

“We tell [people], ‘You are a 1,000 times more likely to get bitten by your neighbor’s dog,’ ” Dwyer told the Hartford Courant.

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