Bobcat that attacked 3 women in Colchester tests positive for rabies

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COLCHESTER — Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced Wednesday that a bobcat that attacked three women in Colchester Tuesday tested positive for rabies.

DEEP wildlife officials said that various strains of rabies are always present among mammals in the wild.  The virus is carried by species such as raccoons, skunks, bats, and others.  The presence of rabies among wild animals is at typical, low levels at this time.

Anyone who observes an animal exhibiting what they believe to be abnormal behavior to contact their local police department or animal control officer, said DEEP spokeswoman Cyndy Chanaca.

Tuesday around 11:44 a.m. a bobcat jumped at one of the women in a greenhouse on Waterhole Road. The greenhouse is on the property of The Caring Community, a social service provider. When the bobcat jumped on one woman, the other two were scratched while coming to her assistance.

The women were taken to the Marlborough Medical Center for evaluation and treatment while local police, DEEP, and Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police responded to the scene.

“The animal had already moved off into a wooded area adjacent to the property,” said Donald Lee, Colchester Deputy Fire Chief. “While we were there, the animal became aggressive and actually paralleled myself and the officer, turned and started to come toward us, growling and showing its teeth.”

They shot and killed the bobcat.

The DEEP records bobcat sightings and also documents the number of bobcats hit and killed on state roads. Bobcat sightings can be reported to the Wildlife Division at deep.wildlife@ct.gov or by calling 860-424-3011.

State Police first reported the attack happened in East Hampton.