A golfer got the scare of a lifetime on Thursday when he was attacked mid-round by a rabid bobcat at the Mohegan Sun Golf Course in Baltic, Connecticut.
The cat, who had attacked a horse at a nearby home earlier in the day, jumped on the golfer’s back, but was fought off by the golfer and his group with clubs.
“It jumped on his back, he was able to fight it off with a golf club,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Officer Chris Dwyer told WFSB-TV. “He thought it was dead as he walked a few steps away it ended up jumping back up and taking off on him.”
The golfer, who is in his 60s, was transferred to William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich for minor injuries, mainly made up of lacerations.
Environmental police tracked and found the cat, which tested positive for rabies, hissing in a culvert, according to The Hartford Courant. The animal was shot and killed.
“We tell (people), ‘You are a 1,000 times more likely to get bitten by your neighbor’s dog,'” he said. “In my 20 years with the DEEP I’ve only had three rabid bobcats. They are extremely aggressive, extremely vicious when they do have the rabies virus. Not saying that it does, but it will be tested. This time usually those types of incidents are associated with a sick animal.”
Bobcats are not uncommon in Connecticut, but the animals are typically shy and timid. The DEEP has warned that citizens should remain vigilant in case other rabid bobcats are around.