By Joe Johnson
A three-year-old girl on Tuesday continued to be treated for injuries she sustained four days earlier when attacked by a bobcat outside her home in Oglethorpe County.
Crystal Yamasato was one of two children who officials said were attacked Friday evening by the same animal in different locations. The bobcat was described as aggressive and possibly infected with rabies.
According to her grandmother, Crystal had been playing with an aunt and cousin in the front yard of her home on Williams McCurley Road at about 6:30 p.m., when the bobcat ran up on her from a wooded area nearby, grabbed her in its jaws and pulled the child partway under a car.
“Her momma had to pull her out,” Anita Scoggins said. “She was not left unsupervised; her dad was out there feeding the dogs, but the bobcat came from the opposite direction and got her before anyone could do anything.
“Between her momma running towards her and screaming, one of the dogs going after it, the cat let go and ran,” the girl’s grandmother said.
Scoggins estimated the bobcat weighed 40 to 50 pounds
Crystal was taken to a children’s hospital in Atlanta for immediate care of open wounds and initial rabies shots and was to return today for follow up.
“She has deep puncture wounds in her back, right hand, left arm. A lot of scratches and a fractured finger,” Scoggins said. “.She has to go back to Atlanta today for another series of rabies shots and has to go to the orthopedic in Atlanta to have a cast put on. She will have several trips to the orthopedic in Atlanta. The hand that has to have the cast is the hand that has the deep wounds.”
Shortly before the bobcat mauled Crystal, officials said, it had attacked a teenaged male less than a mile away, outside of his home on Melton Road. He reportedly received non-life-threatening injuries that included bites and scratches.
Oglethorpe officials urged residents to be vigilant while the bobcat remained at large.
“If you live in that area, we ask you to be mindful of your surroundings and to please keep a close eye on your children when they are outside,” Oglethorpe County Fire & Rescue said in a post on its Facebook page.