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Bobcat killed; believed to be same one that attacked last Thursday
011607 BOBCAT
Craig Sharp, left, and Andy Snipes bagged a bobcat that was seen acting erratically and is believed to be the animal that recently attacked a man near Kennedy Pond.
Two men killed a bobcat that lunged at a passing vehicle Thursday evening,  and believe the oddly-acting animal could be the same one that attacked a man hours earlier only a mile away.
    Alex Deloe, 20, Savannah, was at his grandmother's house on Tillman Pond Road Thursday when a bobcat attacked him as he was mounting a tractor under a shelter. The attack occurred around 1:30 p.m. at Wanda Levangie's home on Kennedy Pond, near the intersection of Ga. 46 and Sinkhole Road in the southern Bulloch County.
    The animal continued its assault in spite of Deloe's kicking it. He finally choked it until it weakened, but the cat escaped before he could shoot it.
    A few hours later and only a mile away from where Deloe was attacked, two men killed a female bobcat they said was acting very oddly.
    Craig Sharpe and Andy Snipes were driving on Aden Lanier Road around 5 p.m. when they rounded a curve and met a truck passing  them, Sharpe said.
    A woman was sitting in a car on the side of the road and they saw a bobcat in the road. Their first impression was the truck had struck the bobcat, but the woman, whom Sharpe did not identify, told them it was the other way around.
    "The bobcat lunged at the truck  - just dove out at (the truck) and hit the back of the bumper," he said, relating what the witnesses told him.
    Sharpe could tell the bobcat was acting oddly, and it had not struck  the  truck hard enough to be disoriented. Being that it was roaming during the day and not trying to run away into the woods,  Sharpe and Snipes were certain the bobcat was the same one that had attacked Deloe.
    But at the time, they were unaware of the attack and were only interested in killing the bobcat so they could take it to a  taxidermist, he said.
    The cat crawled underneath the woman's car, Snipes said. He went to his home nearby to get a catch pole, which he uses occasionally for trapping,  as well as a .22 rifle.
    "We told the lady to back up, but (the cat) kept going back under the car," he said. Finally, "it went under a tarp near an old barn."
    The bobcat was staggering and moving rather slowly, he said. "She was acting really odd. It was daytime, and that was unusual, and unusual for it to have attacked a truck."
    He and Sharpe "noosed" the cat with the restraint pole and pulled it from the barn debris, then shot it "in the heart," Sharpe said.
    After the two killed the bobcat, they placed it in Sharpe's freezer, since he intended to have it mounted. But when he learned about Deloe's attack, he decided to take it in for rabies testing.
    Unfortunately, having frozen the animal rendered it unusable for rabies testing, said Bulloch County Humane Enforcement Officer Christopher Ivey, who investigated Deloe's attack.
    "I tried to take the bobcat to the Health Department," Sharpe said. The office was closed, so he took the cat to the Statesboro Police Department.
    An officer there also told them freezing had ruined chances of testing to see if the animal was rabid, he said.
    Thinking the cat had been aggressive because she had kittens, he and Snipes examined the female bobcat to see whether there was any indication she had been pregnant and nursing young. There was no sign of her having had babies recently, Snipes said.
    Sharpe said the cat weighed around 40 pounds, and he still may have it mounted, although Ivey recommended they bury the animal. He said he and Snipes did not intend to be treated for possible exposure to rabies since they "don't have cuts on our hands and only handled it with the noose."
    Ivey said he feels it is highly possible the cat Sharpe and Snipes killed could be the same one that attacked Deloe. But, "We've had a heck of a lot of calls" from people claiming to have seen the rabid bobcat during the same time frame and in the same area as Deloe's attack, he said.
    One man, who did not leave his name, called Ivey and said he killed a bobcat on Sinkhole Road that had "crawled under a car or been hit by a car, and he went ahead and put it down," he said. "That was around 3 p.m. (the same day of the attack.)
    There is "a good possibility there is more than one" bobcat with suspected rabies in the area, Ivey said. Citizens are warned to avoid wild animals, especially if they are acting strangely, such as exhibiting no fear of humans and roaming in populated areas during daylight hours.
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