A necropsy and rabies testing are being performed on a bobcat after the animal was seen acting aggressively near the site of an attack in Show Low.
A woman was scratched and bitten on her thigh by a bobcat Sunday at about 10:30 p.m. behind a Lowe's store, the Arizona Game and Fish Department said in a press release.
She was given rabies vaccines and anti-rabies serum as a precaution. A bobcat was spotted nearby by a Navajo County deputy sheriff, who killed it.
"Bobcats rarely attack people, but when they do, the animal is often rabid," said Bruce Sitko, department spokesman. "While we don't expect a larger outbreak of the virus in the local area, we want to err on the side of caution in alerting residents to watch and report any abnormal behaviors in other wild or domestic animals, as this bobcat may have had contact with them."
Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system and is always fatal once symptoms appear. The virus can be transmitted to people or animals through bites from infected animals or exposure to infected saliva through open wounds or mucous membranes, the department said.
The department said the last case of a bobcat testing positive for rabies anywhere in Arizona was a single incident in 2011.
Health Services and department officials recommend the following to protect individuals and pets from rabies:
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.
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