By Joe Johnson
A bobcat reportedly attacked two juveniles last week in Winterville.
It is believed by officials that the same animal was involved in the attacks that occurred at two different locations.
Oglethorpe County Fire & Rescue on Sunday posted this public notice on its Facebook page:
“Please be aware that on Friday, October 6th at approximately 6:30PM, an aggressive bobcat on two different properties attacked juveniles in the area of Melton Road and Williams McCurley Road in Winterville. 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. The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Public Health, as well as the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office and Oglethorpe County EMS have all been notified.”
Bobcats are native to Northeast Georgia, but they are shy and rarely have contact with humans. However, they have attacked people in recent years due to them becoming aggressive and less fearful from being infected with rabies.
In April a 10-year-old Banks County boy was attacked by a rabid bobcat, and the boy's father pulled the animal off and then fatally shot it.
The boy was treated for his injuries and immediately began treatment for rabies exposure. The Department of Public Health later confirmed that the bobcat had rabies after examining its carcass.
Without a body to perform tests on, officials do not know if the bobcat in Winterville has rabies.