A bobcat recently attacked two children in a rural part of Georgia. The shocking incidents took place on Friday, October 6 in Oglethorpe County.
According to Oglethorpe County Fire and Rescue officials, the aggressive bobcat was reported on Friday at 6:30 p.m. when it attacked a 3-year-old girl who was playing on her grandparents’ front yard.
“The cat was dragging her up under the car,” Michael Scoggins, the girl’s grandfather, told WSB-TV. “My daughter came out and grabbed the baby just as soon as she got there.”
Oglethorpe County Fire and Rescue quickly responded to the scene, and the young girl was transported to a local hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. “She had a big bite, a laceration on her hand,” said Scoggins. “A fractured bone. A bite in the back. Claw marks all around her waist. Her shift was just full of holes where the cat got it.”
Oglethorpe County Fire and Rescue Spokesperson Cody Gibbs told USA Today that the agency’s staff was alerted to another nearby attack while they were on-scene responding to the first one. A teenage boy was attacked by a bobcat about a quarter of a mile away from the first incident and less than 30 minutes after it. He also suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Additionally, two attacks on dogs by a bobcat were reported the night prior to the attacks on the children. “We suspect it’s the same animal that attacked all of them,” said Gibbs. “[It’s] definitely a strange set of circumstances.”
Officials suspect but have not been able to confirm that the offending bobcat is rabid. Both children were given rabies shots. According to the CDC, wild animals account for 90 percent of reported rabies cases in the U.S. The disease is well-known to cause animals to behave aggressively and drool more than normal, among other symptoms.
Local officials have attempted to locate the animal, but it is reportedly still on the loose. “If you live in the area, we ask you to be mindful of your surroundings and to please keep a close eye on your children when they are outside,” wrote Oglethorpe County Fire & Rescue in a Facebook post. “The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Public Health, as well as the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office and Oglethorpe County EMS have all been notified.