What’s worse than stumbling upon an angry bobcat on your nightly walk with your newborn daughter? Stumbling upon an angry, rabid bobcat on your nightly walk with your newborn daughter.
That’s what happened to Summer and Tom Berube last Sunday. The Lebanon, CT, couple were taking their evening walk with their infant daughter, Neeve, when a bobcat approached them.
According to NECN, the bobcat hissed and ran towards Tom, who was carrying his baby. Tom yanked a mailbox out of the ground and used it to defend his family, knocking the animal down when it leapt at him. Summer, meanwhile, said she “was just screaming at the top of my lungs for help.”
That help soon came from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which had already been alerted to the presence of an aggressive bobcat in the area. On Saturday, a woman in the neighboring Connecticut town of Bozrah was attacked by a bobcat while feeding her chickens. She was scratched and bitten, but quickly taken to a local hospital for treatment. If caught early enough, a postexposure vaccination prevents the disease from spreading.
DEEP’s Environmental Conservation Police located the bobcat and killed it. The rabies test came back positive on Tuesday.
A statement from DEEP said bobcat sightings are rare, and rabid bobcat sightings are rarer still. DEEP spokesperson Dennis Schain told Boston.com that anyone who may have had contact with the infected animal should “contact a medical professional and seek guidance to determine if any treatment is recommended.”
The Berubes told NBC Connecticut that family walks since the attack have been “far less eventful.”