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Person, horse injured by rabid bobcat on golf course

BALTIC --  The bobcat that attacked and injured a golfer and  horse Thursday morning was rabid, according to DEEP.

The attack sent the golfer at the Mohegan Sun Golf Club to the hospital with possible scratches to his back.

Susan K. Whalen, Deputy Commissioner said, "The results were obtained late this afternoon from the UConn Medical Lab.  The golfer and the horse owner have been notified."

"He was able to fend off the attack using his golf club," says Sergeant Chris Dwyer from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

He is expected to be okay. The horse down the road named Bella is also expected to be okay. She has scratches to both sides of her face and a gash over her left eye. Bella's owner, Loree Osowski, saw the whole thing happen.

"[The bobcat] was limping and growling," she says. "You just want to protect your animals and I chased him with a shovel and I threw it at him. I was screaming at him and he ran under the horse trailer here."

Loree says after the bobcat attacked Bella, it ran across the road and through the woods leading to the golf course where the bobcat attacked the man. DEEP officers found the bobcat near hole 7 on the golf course.

"There was two pipes water comes out of and the bobcat poked its head out of one hole," says DEEP Officer Anthony Dota. Officer Dota helped euthanize the bobcat. The bobcat was taken to the State Health Lab  and was found to have the rabies virus.

"It's extremely rare for this to happen," says Sergeant Dwyer. "You're about 1,000 times more likely to be attacked by your neighbor's dog than you are a wild animal here in Connecticut."

Sergeant Dwyer says he has only seen 4 bobcats in his entire career attack humans. The last time he saw an attack, he says the bobcat had rabies and attacked three people. While it's rare, Sergeant Dwyer says to keep a close eye on your pets outside and to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.

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