A terrified U.S. retiree has been bitten by a rabid wild bobcat that entered his home while chasing a pet cat.
The plucky pensioner was savaged by the hungry beast as he tried to trap it in his bathroom before calling for help from the emergency services.
Officials in Windsor, Vermont, later confirmed the bobcat had been infected with rabies.
Bobcats are about the size of a medium-sized dog and usually live on a diet of squirrels and rabbits.
Jennifer Frank – Windsor Police Department (WPD) Chief – said the animal had entered the man’s property through an open door on May 13 and attacked the victim before he could trap it.
“We received a report from a resident that they had what they believed was a bobcat trapped inside of a bathroom,” she told local media.
“It was a very lean bobcat, and we believe that it did chase a cat into the residence and that is when it came into contact with individuals who lived there.”
The police said that the man, whose name was not disclosed, was scratched or bitten by the bobcat before trapping it.
He was taken to the hospital for medical care and it was later confirmed that the wild animal had rabies.
Officials from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department (VFWD) later captured the bobcat from the property and euthanized it.
This is a very rare and unusual circumstance,” Frank said. “In fact, I’ve never seen this happen before in my career, where it gained entry into someone’s home and then made contact with a person.
“This just happened to be an unusual set of circumstances. There were also people working next door cutting down some trees, and that may have an impact as well on its habitat.”
Frank later confirmed in an update: “After further examination was conducted over the weekend at the Vermont State Laboratory, it was confirmed that the bobcat did in fact test positive for the rabies virus. The injured resident was notified of the result and is seeking additional medical treatment as a result.”