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Woman tries to help bobcat, gets bitten

April 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

RIVERVIEW, Fla., April 13 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said a woman was bitten while attempting to help an injured bobcat on the median of a highway.

Marti Ryan with Hillsborough County Animal Services said a motorist called 911 around 8:30 a.m. Thursday and reported an injured bobcat that had apparently been hit by a car and was in the grass on the median between the lanes of US 301 in Riverview, WPTV, West Palm Beach, reported Friday.

"A well-meaning person decided to try to assist the animal; reaching out to touch it, to move it, to cover it with blankets and that person was bitten," Ryan said.

Ryan said the bobcat, which is considered a high risk for rabies, was picked up by Animal Services and will be euthanized as a result of biting the woman.

"The Florida recommendations and compendium on rabies state very clearly the duty of our veterinarian. Which is in this case to humanely euthanize the animal for testing of the brain matter because we have to ascertain, for the health of the citizen, whether this animal is carrying rabies," Ryan said.

Officials said the woman could be facing extensive treatments if the bobcat is found to have been rabid.

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