Bobcat that entered Windsor home and bit man tests positive for rabies

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/16/2022 9:54:04 PM
Modified: 5/16/2022 10:16:29 PM

WINDSOR — The bobcat that ran into a Windsor home and bit an elderly man had rabies, a test confirmed over the weekend.

“This one was definitely on the aggressive side of things,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Game Warden David Lockerby. “.... You’d go up to the window and hear it making noises and jumping at the window.”

The thin, adult male bobcat chased a house cat into the man’s home through a pet door, the homeowner told police.

He tried to protect his cat, Lockerby said. The bobcat bit him, but he was able to trap it between two rooms in his house. He had wounds on his knee and lower leg, said Windsor Police Chief Jennifer Frank.

Two game wardens from Vermont Fish and Wildlife arrived on the scene quickly, which allowed the police to focus their energy on getting the homeowner the medical help he needed in case of rabies, she said.

The bobcat was humanely and quickly euthanized inside the residence, Lockerby said.

“Our biggest priority is human health and safety,” he added.

The homeowner is doing “as well as one could do after receiving a bite from a bobcat,” Chief Frank said. Although the Vermont Department of Health confirmed that the bobcat had had rabies on Saturday, due to a delay in communications he did not hear the news until Monday. He is now receiving additional medical treatment.

Rabid animals pass along the infection through their bite. After a bite, rabies is preventable in humans with wound care and a series of injections given by a medical provider, according to the Vermont Department of Health.

The police were unable to locate the house cat, but the homeowner said that it was all right, she added.

“This is a fairly unusual circumstance,” Chief Frank said. “Bobcats try to create space between themselves and people.”

Rabies is a deadly virus that infects the central nervous system, according to the Vermont Department of Health. Rabid animals often lose their fear of people, becoming either abnormally friendly or aggressive. Some exhibit extreme depression or bizarre behaviors, such as staggering or seizures. Rabies is not common: In 2021, the agency found that 18 out of 588 animals tested — just above 3% — had rabies.

Claire Potter is a Report for America corps member. She can be reached at or 603-727-3242.

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