Source AP ©

Vietnam veteran strangle rabid bobcat attacking him

A 62-year-old Vietnam veteran strangled a rabid bobcat that attacked him on the back porch of his Florida home.

Dale Rippy 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," Rippy 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 the suburban central Florida neighborhood 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."

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