Officials: Bobcat that attacked man, dog in Anthem was rabid

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A bobcat that attacked two people and a dog in Anthem Sunday has been confirmed as rabid, Arizona Game and Fish officials said.

Officials said a man and his dog were attacked by a bobcat when a bystander jumped in to help. The bobcat then attacked the Good Samaritan, who was bit on the hand.

Nathan Gonzalez, a Game and Fish spokesman, said testing on the animal determined it was infected with rabies.

Officials declined to comment on the specific case of the man who was bit; however, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health said any person who is exposed to rabies is granted access to rabies vaccines by the agency.

Gonzalez said a wild animal’s behavior often is an indication of rabies’ presence.

“Temperament or over-aggression is common with wildlife when an animal has rabies,” Gonzalez said. “They tend to be in locations where they have access to food and water and that’s in the neighborhoods we live in.” 

Watch video of the attack:

MORE: Coyote bites 5-year-old girl in Scottsdale park

As of June 30, there were 59 animals that had tested positive for rabies in Arizona this year, four of which were bobcats, according to data from the the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Two such cases had been reported in Maricopa County as of that date. Pima County had the most, with 24 cases.

An adult bobcat is about twice the size of an average house cat and can weigh anywhere from 15 to 35 pounds, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department

They stand between 18 and 24 inches tall and are 24 to 48 inches long. 

Bobcats are commonly seen throughout Arizona at all elevations, the department said.

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