September 25, 2020

Bobcat Attacks Man….But Pay it No Mind. Watch Out for Skunks Though

An article that appears in the Boston Globe begins as a comedy and the rest of the story of a man being attacked by a bobcat, could be a series of comedic events if it wasn’t such a potentially serious event.

The headline reads, “Bobcat lunges at Mass. man, is shot to death.” I must assure readers that the Mass. man was not shot to death. It was the bobcat.

Before the man who was attacked by the bobcat was able to get enough lead into the animal, I was beginning to think he may have to contact the Department of Homeland Security in order to get enough ammunition to get the bobcat killed.

The man was not seriously hurt and testing is underway to determine if the bobcat was rabid. What ends the article in snickerable fashion was the following:

The estimated statewide bobcat population is about 1,200 to 1,300, said Tom O’Shea, assistant director of wildlife at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

‘‘Most of the time they’re shy and secretive, and the only time they show aggression to people is when they’re rabid,’’ he said.

In January, a bobcat attacked a man and his teenage nephew in Brookfield, about 15 miles from Holden. That animal tested positive for rabies.

Still, O’Shea said there’s no need for alarm.

‘‘People should be more wary of raccoons, skunks and even stray cats,’’ he said.

Forgive me for exercising a certain amount of unrestrained speculative thinking and logical deduction but with two attacks by bobcats within 15 miles of each other, even though testing isn’t complete on one dead bobcat, isn’t it safe to be wary of the idea that perhaps there’s a bit of a problem with rabies in bobcats? And so, the advice is to pay no mind to a bobcat hanging out in your yard, or in this case attacking you. Instead look around and see if there are any skunks, racoons or stray cats about.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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