PHOENIX — A bobcat that attacked a large dog and bit a man on the hand in the Anthem Country Club area on Sunday evening has tested positive for rabies.
At 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department received a call that a man was bitten on the hand by a bobcat. The man reported to officers that the bobcat attacked a German shepherd and he was bitten while trying to separate the two animals.
The bobcat quickly fled the immediate area, but was located and dispatched. The animal underwent a necropsy by the department’s wildlife health veterinarian and tissue samples were sent to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Results showed it tested positive for rabies.
While bobcats are abundant throughout Arizona––including in urban areas—they can be aggressive if they become sick, trapped or are defending offspring or a territory. They also tend to frequent habitats where food and water are plentiful, such as in neighborhoods.
Because bobcats are rarely a threat to people and commonly coexist without incident, AZGFD does not routinely relocate bobcats. To discourage bobcats from living near a residence, homeowners should:
- Keep domestic animals such as small dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits, in a secure enclosure with a sturdy roof if outdoors and unattended.
- Keep small dogs and cats indoors, in a secure enclosure or on a leash when outdoors.
- Feed dogs and cats inside or remove any uneaten pet food left outside between feedings.
- Keep the landscaping around your home neatly trimmed to cover to hide. Likewise relocate or remove piles of debris or junk.
- Repair openings in fences that could allow a bobcat to easily enter the yard.
- Fencing your yard is helpful, however, bobcats can jump up to 12 feet, so a 6-foot-tall fence may not deter them if they are attracted to something in the yard.
Residents can discourage a bobcat from living near their home by:
- Making loud noises such as yelling, using whistles, horns, blaring music or bang on pots and pans.
- Spraying it with a garden hose.
- Throwing objects (e.g., rocks, sticks, toys, cans, shoes, etc.) at it.
For information about living in the vicinity of bobcats and how to discourage them from living near your home, visit the Department’s website at www.azgfd.gov.