Banks County boy survives rabid bobcat attack

A 9-year-old boy in Banks County is recovering after a bobcat attacked him. Easton Burchett and his father were at their neighbor's house taking care of their dog when the bobcat emerged from under a Jeep and pounced on the child.

"The bobcat just like a flash of light full-on attack," said Easton's father, Wes Burchett, who witnessed the attack. The cat clawed and bit the child, causing deep gashes on his leg.

"I was punching it because I was trying to get it off of me, then my dad grabs it and throws it," said Easton. However, the bobcat was not done and started coming for Wes. He pulled out his pistol and shot the animal.

Easton was rushed to the hospital and received 14 stitches to close his wounds. He also had to undergo painful rabies shots. "The claws didn't hurt as bad, but when he bit down on my leg, I can't explain how bad it felt. It hurt so bad," said Easton.

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A 9-year-old Banks County boy is undergoing rabies shots after being bitten by a bobcat  (Supplied)

The Burchetts were told that the bobcat had to be tested for rabies. However, no one from the county came to get the animal, so Wes put it in his freezer until someone from the environmental division of the county health department picked it up on Monday afternoon.

The Burchetts are frustrated with the lack of protocols in place for situations like this. "I just want better actions in case something like this happens to somebody else," said Amy Burchett, Easton's mother. She turned to social media to alert the community of the rabid animal.

Banks County officials later said they will hand-deliver letters to the community about the rabid bobcat. Tuesday night, county officials discussed putting better protocols in place. "We need a protocol on what happens next in the county. This should be a lesson. I hate my son had to be the lesson," said Wes.

The Department of Natural Resources explained bobcat attacks are very rare. They also provided a 24-hour line for emergency wildlife assistance: 1-800-241-4113.