Rabid bobcat attacks golfer and horse before being beaten with clubs then put down

Peter Stubley

A rabid bobcat attacked a horse and a golfer before being captured and killed by environmental protection police.

The wild animal targeted a group of four players near a bunker on the seventh hole of a course in Baltic, Connecticut.

It left one man in his 60s with lacerations to his head before being beaten away by the golfers using their clubs.

The attack took place at 8.30am on Thursday morning, just half an hour after the bobcat attacked a horse in the same area.

A man claiming to be the unidentified golfer commented under an article on the incident in the local newspaper The Day that the animal “came lunging out of the woods”.

“I never saw it until it was in the air coming for my face,” wrote Michael Popowski. “I was able to turn away and it was on my back in an instant.

“I suffered lacerations to my scalp which needed numerous staples to close, an almost severed earlobe, nicely stitched back together and multiple bite, puncture wounds to my left arm and shoulder.

“The cat did take several 6 iron shots but was still able to get away.”

Mr Popowski, who will have to have the rabies vaccine, said he spent nearly nine hours in hospital receiving treatment for his wounds.

“Had it been a child it more than likely would resulted in a much, much more serious ending,” he added. “Wasn’t exactly the day I had in mind on the first tee.”

The horse had to have 16 stitches to lacerations to the neck and eye but is expected to make a full recovery.

Owner ​Loree Osowski told the WFSB TV station in Connecticut that she started started screaming in an attempt to scare off the bobcat, which eventually ran off.

Officers with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) captured the animal after being called to the scene at the Mohegan Sun golf course.

“They successfully tracked and humanely euthanised the animal nearby,” DEEP said in a statement.

“DEEP believes this bobcat is the one involved in both attacks this morning.”

The bobcat tested positive for rabies after being taken to the medical lab at the University of Connecticut.

DEEP said bobcats were usually shy and secretive animals and attacks on humans were “extremely rare”.

“They are extremely aggressive, extremely vicious when they do have the rabies virus,” said DEEP officer Chris Dwyer.

The last reported bobcat incident in Connecticut, which also involved a rabid animal, took place in Bozrah in 2014.