Pender County couple describes rabid bobcat attack

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BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — A rabid bobcat attack in Pender County has gone viral online, and now the victims of the attack are sharing their story.

That video shows a bobcat attacking a woman as she walks to the car with her cat in a carrier case for a veterinarian appointment on Friday, April 9. Her husband grabs the cat off of her and throws it into the yard.

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That couple is Happy and Kristi Wade. Kristi says she knew something was wrong as soon as she heard a growl in the driveway.

“When it came around the car and it made eye contact with me, I knew immediately I was in trouble,” Kristi said.

Video surveillance shows the bobcat running across the street from a neighbor’s house and into the Wades’s driveway. Kristi says she knew right away what the wild animal was.

“It first attacked my hand that I held behind me to try to fend it off, and then I felt it crawl up my back,” she said.

Hearing his wife’s screams, Happy jumped into action as the wild animal tried to bite Kristi’s neck.

“I kind of shoved my arm in there, that’s why I ended up with it face-to-face,” Happy said. “It’s not really until I get it a few steps away that I look at it and I realize it’s a bobcat and I say oh my god it’s a bobcat.”

As Happy tried to carry the bobcat away from his home, it sunk its teeth into him multiple times.

“The third time it bit me I could actually feel the tooth on my bone because there’s no skin there,” he said. “And that’s when I realized and that’s when I flung it.”

Instead of running away into the woods, the animal ran back toward the house and into the garage. Happy says he could tell something was wrong.

“I knew because of the way it acted that this is not normal behavior for a bobcat,” he said. “Only a bobcat that was rabid would do this.”

As neighbors called 911, Happy made the decision to shoot the rabid animal. The Wades are concealed carry permit holders.

“At one point it kind of made a charge again and I was able to shoot it in the shoulder.”

The body of the animal was sent to the state lab in Raleigh for testing and came back positive for rabies. The Wades are now being treated for the virus.

“It’s a lot of shots,” Happy said. “We’ve had over 30 each.”

The couple has two cats and a dog, which are all rescue animals. They say they love animals and didn’t want one to die, but felt they did what was necessary to protect themselves and their neighbors.

It’s an experience they won’t soon forget.

“It was very scary, it makes me think a little bit when I walk out my front door to water my flowers on my porch,” Kristi said. “Never have thought about it, probably shouldn’t anymore, you know this was a freak thing.”

The couple is on the board for the Pender County Humane Society Golf Tournament. They encourage anyone who sees this story to donate to their local humane society.

Their neighbor was also injured by the bobcat about 10 minutes before it came to their house. He is in the hospital recovering.