Bobcat that attacked man was rabid

Published: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 9:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 9:10 p.m.

STUART, Fla. -- Health officials say a bobcat that attacked an Indiantown man last week was infected with rabies.

The Martin County Health Department reported Monday that 28-year-old Romeo P. Gomez must undergo treatment in case he was infected with the virus. Okeechobee Animal Control says Gomez and a friend were working on a fence at a private ranch Thursday when the bobcat approached them. Gomez attempted to scare the animal away, but the cat jumped at him and began to attack. Gomez's friend grabbed a hammer and killed the 30-pound cat.

Health officials suspected the animal had rabies because bobcats usually shy away from humans and rarely attack.

The virus can be fatal if left untreated.

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