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Bobcat That Attacked People In Upper Valley Killed By Authorities, Confirmed To Have Had Rabies

A bobcat is seen in this game camera photograph in Brandon in December 2017.
Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, via Associated Press
A bobcat is photographed by a game camera in Brandon back in December 2017. On Wednesday, a bobcat was killed by a game warden in White River Junction after it attacked people.

A bobcat attack Wednesday in the Upper Valley sent two people to the hospital, but Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials say they were able to kill the animal.

Authorities began their search for the bobcat after it attacked a woman who was sitting on her porch at an apartment complex in White River. Then, according to Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter, the bobcat proceeded to the parking lot of a White River Junction office complex where it bit another person.

The bobcat was then shot by a game warden, explained Lt. Dennis Amsden, the southern district chief for the Fish and Wildlife Department.

“Initially it was reported as a mountain lion that had attacked somebody,” said Amsden. “But we quickly established that it was not a mountain lion, that it was actually a bobcat.”

Amsden said the people bitten by the animal were treated for their injuries at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Porter told VPR Thursday there was also third person bit by the bobcat that officials were not aware of until Wednesday evening, after that individual came forward after seeing news coverage of the bobcat.

While bobcat attacks aren’t unprecedented in Vermont, Amsden said they’re exceedingly rare. And he said the animal’s aggressive behavior was likely the result of rabies or some other condition.

Amsden said the animal was being sent to a state lab for testing, and Porter confirmed Thursday that tests showed the bobcat was rabid.

Update 12/13/18 1:34 p.m. The update from Porter about the third victim and rabies test results was added to this post. The headline was amended.

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