Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Man attacked by bobcat in his garage

BROOKFIELD — The last thing he heard before the bobcat's fangs and claws sank into his flesh was hissing.

Roger D. Mundell Jr. had just stepped into his garage at 9 a.m. Sunday to retrieve some tie-down ratchet straps for a friend waiting in a car outside. At the time, he didn't realize that the other door to the garage had been left open.

He heard the hiss and barely had time to register what it meant.

“In an instant it was on me. It jumped up and bit me above the eye, on my forehead. I have claw marks on the back of my shoulders, like it had me in bear hug,” Mr. Mundell recalled Sunday night.

He was wearing a military winter field jacket, which he was able to shrug off over his head, dislodging the bobcat. Mr. Mundell said he dashed out of the garage and slammed the door behind him just in time to see the leaping feline hit the window in the door at full speed.

But the bobcat got out through the other door.

Mr. Mundell's wife came out of the house to see what the commotion was about. They went to warn his 15-year-old nephew, who was outside helping prepare a trailer to be towed away, but the bobcat beat him there, Mr. Mundell said.

“My forehead and face were bleeding like crazy already. I'm just in a T-shirt now, so my arms are exposed, and I have to go after this thing on my nephew. It scratched up my arms pretty good,” Mr. Mundell said.

Mr. Mundell said his wife got some metal crutches out of a car, which they used to try to pin the wild animal down. He shouted for his wife to go get a semi-automatic pistol from inside the house as the hissing bobcat struggled to free itself, he said.

Mr. Mundell said he shot and killed the bobcat in his driveway.

He estimated the animal weighed about 40 pounds, slightly smaller than the family dog, but strong and lightning fast in its attack.

His nephew was bitten a couple of times on the forearm and back and had several scratches. Mr. Mundell had several deep puncture wounds from the bobcat's fangs on his face and more than two dozen scratches all over him, he said.

State Environmental Police took the bobcat's body away to have it tested for rabies, but, given its behavior, Mr. Mundell and his nephew, as well as his wife, got the first of several rounds of rabies shots yesterday as a precaution. His wife has to be treated for rabies exposure, Mr. Mundell said, because he handed the blood-spattered gun to her to engage the safety latch.

This picture was taken soon after the bobcat was shot and killed by Mr. Mundell. (Submitted by ROGER MUNDELL)
The results of the rabies tests are expected today, but the family isn't holding their breath for a negative result.

“If it didn't have rabies, as soon as it got out of the garage, it would have run away. It just went right for my nephew,” Mr. Mundell said.

The Mundells live on 10 acres down a long driveway off Route 9, near the Clam Box restaurant. The family's land is surrounded by an even larger tract owned by Mr. Mundell's father, so it's not unusual to see deer, turkeys and other wildlife on the property, he said.

A friend had come by to do some cross-country skiing on the property Saturday and reported seeing a bobcat, Mr. Mundell said. The friend had two dogs with her and the bobcat kept its distance, she said.

source: http://www.telegram.com

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