Bobcat Attacks Man In Mass. Garage; Roger Mundell Shoots Rabid Animal After Attack [PHOTO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on January 8, 2013 12:30 PM EST

Bobcat Attacks Man
Roger Mundell suffered deep scratches to his face and neck after being attacked by a rabid bobcat in his garage. (Photo: reuters)

A rabid bobcat attacked a man in his garage in Massachusetts,  injuring both him and his 15-year-old nephew. Roger Mundell was bit and scratched all over his arms, neck and shoulders after the animal pounced on him. Mundell tried to kep his distance from the animal, but it cleared eight feet in a single leap and began mauling him. The bobcat attacked the man without provocation, an indication that it was rabid. Mundell freed himself by shedding his winter coat and escaped the garage.

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"I was bleeding all over the place," Mundell, 53, told Reuters. "It wanted us bad. It obviously was rabid."

The bobcat attack didn't end there.

The bobcat escaped the garage through another door and pounced on Mundell's  nephew. The bobcat attacked the boy near the garage, sinking itsa teeth into the child's forearms so tightly that Mundell, a full-grown man, had to beat it with a metal crutch in order to subdue it. The bobcat attacked the wrong man though, because Roger Mundell is a licensed gun owner and his wife retrieved a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 from the house.  Mundell kneeled on the animal, using his full weight to restrain it, before shooting it.

"I shot it twice just to make sure," said Mundell. "It would have killed my wife. I know it would have."

Mundell shared his story with the Boston Globe, which published pictures of his injuries that illustrate how dangerous it is when a bobcat attacks a man. Mundell and his family spent most the day Sunday in the hospital getting rabies treatments, which the Mayo Clinic says starts with a rabies immune globulin shot near the areas of injury to prevent the virus from spreading. Long-term, Mundell will likely receive around a half-dozen injections in the next two weeks, as will his wife and nephew who were also exposed to tainted blood inside the rabid bobcat.

Tom French, assistant director for the Massachusetts State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, told the Boston Globe that bobcat attacks on man are very rare. He said he knew of only one other story where a bobcat attacked a man.

"This is completely out of character for a bobcat, even to be in the garage in the first place," he told the newspaper. "It is completely consistent with an animal that may have rabies."

A bobcat attacking a man is so rare because bobcats are nocturnal hunters who avoid human populations. They range in size, but most are about twice as big as your average housecat. The bobcat that attacked the man in Massachusetts weighed roughly 40 lbs. Another sign it was rabid was its choice of victim. Although capable of taking down larger prey, bobcats tend to hunt smaller animals such as rabbits, birds and mice. Despite their reclusivity, bobcats are believed to be thriving across North America. National Georgraphic estimates that there are more than one million bobcats in the U.S. alone.

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