‘Wrestling match’ involving rabid bobcat and Virginia man has captivated social media



The bobcat that terrorized a western Virginia community has died violently — after a motorist ran it over, according to the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office.

It also tested positive for rabies, but that sobering detail is not what people are talking about on social media.

Rather, it’s the “savage” man who deputies say squared off with the predator in a “wrestling match” that has caught people’s attention.

The man ended up in the hospital, but a legend may have been born.

It happened in the Mouth of Wilson community on the North Carolina state line, where the cat engaged in a series of attacks on humans, livestock and pets. It even tried to enter homes, officials say.

“Can we just take a minute and talk about the guy that wrestled this rabid bob cat,” Elisabeth Carico Matthews wrote on Facebook.

“Who the heck grabs a bobcat by the hind legs,” Ben Pinckney asked. “That’s like sticking your hand in an angry meat grinder.”

“I bet he doesn’t grab another one by the back legs,” Jason Sluss posted.

“Seems a headlock or rear naked choke would have been a better finisher!” Eli Reeves said.

The man’s identity has not been released. People on social media who say they know the man report he took action to save lives when the cat attacked a group of adults on Oct. 27.

Investigators indicated that might be true, saying the incident involved two men and a woman.

“A man at the scene grabbed the bobcat by the rear legs and ended up in a wrestling match with the cat,” the sheriff’s office wrote.

“He sustained serious wounds to his legs and arms. He was flown to Bristol Regional Medical Center. The man is now home recovering from the attack. The other male was treated for minor injuries.”

County health department officials say the bobcat was “hyper-aggressive” — and every human and animal it attacked is in danger of contracting rabies.

“At one point, the cat also attempted to enter a house through an open door,” the sheriff’s office said.

It was found dead on Fox Creek Road on the morning of Oct. 28. That’s the same road where the three people were attacked, officials said.

Despite the sheriff’s office being confident it has the culprit cat, concerns remain and questions are being asked on social media.

“How can they be sure the one hit by car is the same one?” Keith Lutz asked.

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