A Massachusetts man and his nephew are recovering after being attacked by a bobcat in the man’s suburban garage.
Roger Mundell Jr., 53, and his 15-year-old nephew, Michael Granger, will find out later today if they contracted rabies after both were mauled by a bobcat Sunday morning. Mundell and Granger told ABC News they have already started treatment for the disease as a precaution.
Mundell, Granger and a friend were working on a project Sunday morning when Mundell entered his garage in rural Brookfield, Mass., to fetch some some straps. Rounding a car, he heard a hissing sound and Mundell says that without warning, the bobcat pounced on his head, sinking its teeth into his face and clawing his back.
“It got me just like his and gave me a bear hug right here,” Mundell said while pointing to his scared face.
Mundell was wearing a thick coat and managed to throw the bobcat off his body, sprinting out of the garage and slamming a door behind him. But the bobcat escaped through another door, where it caught sight of Granger.
“All of a sudden he’s just looking at me. Just giving me the death stare and you can tell he’s meaning business,” Granger said.
The bobcat bit Granger on the arms and back before Mundell pulled it off his nephew and wrestled it to the ground, holding it down with his arms and shin.
“I was screaming. I’m still hoarse,” Mundell’s wife, Cindy said.
“It was squirming around so much I was afraid that if it ever got loose it would still attack us,” Mundell said. “Cindy ran in the house and grabbed the handgun which we keep close.”
Mundell, bleeding from his neck and arms, shot the animal twice killing it.
“These two puncture from his fangs are really deep I guess,” Mundell said while showing off the bite marks on his neck.
Mundell’s wife is also being treated for rabies because the bobcat’s blood got on her skin.
Bobcats are elusive and are very rarely seen in the wild because they typically avoid human contact, experts say.
“Human bobcat interactions are extremely, extremely rare and attacks on humans are even more rare,” said Laura Conlee of the state’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. “Unprovoked, aggressive behaviors are a symptom of rabies and sometimes we see that with animals that do have rabies.”
Bobcats are approximately twice the size of a domestic house cat and adult bobcats can weigh between 15-35 pounds, according to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s website.
Conlee says that if you spot a bobcat, enjoy the rare sighting from a distance, but if it exhibits strange behavior, report it to the authorities.