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Florida man strangles rabid bobcat that attacked him

6/20/2007

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Dale Rippy says he was acting on
instinct when a rabid 25-pound bobcat attacked him on his porch in
this central Florida suburb.

Rippy, 62, endured the bobcat's slashes and bites until it
clawed into a position where he could grab it by the throat.

Then he strangled it.

Rippy said it was clear the crazed bobcat had to be stopped.

"I was bleeding everyplace,'' the Vietnam veteran said of the
May 30 attack. "If that cat had attacked a child, it would've been
really bad. It wouldn't have quit.''

Rippy's neighbors in this suburb 25 miles northeast of Tampa
called for help. Tests showed the dead bobcat was rabid. Rippy was
treated for exposure to rabies, and several bites and cuts.

Authorities praised Rippy for clear thinking under pressure.

"We give this guy a lot of credit for what he did,'' said Pasco
County Animal Control Manager Denise Hilton. "The man was
definitely using his head when he did that. If he let the cat go,
we could have had more victims.''