Florida man fights off bobcat to save dog: 'I ripped him off'

An Orlando man fought off a bobcat when it attacked his dog.

Paul Broadhurst was walking his daughter's dog Koda Saturday morning in Orlando when a bobcat attacked them.

"He got away lucky," said Broadhurst. "He was walking down the sidewalk that bobcat was just over the top of him. He no sooner got there, and I ripped him off."

Broadhurst jumped into action and saved his daughter's dog, even if that meant he got scratched by the bobcat.

"The bobcat, he clawed into me pretty good, and I end up having to punch the bobcat in the mouth to get it off of me," said Broadhurst. "Got it on the ground and it took off into the tree line."

Broadhurst lives in the Stoneybrook neighborhood in East Orlando and his home is right next to conservation. Frank Robb with EEARSS which is an environmental and education awareness nonprofit said situations like this are happening more because of development.

"When homes get built these wild areas are being taken away you’re going to see more conflict like this with wildlife. Be aware of your surroundings and know where you live," said Robb.

Robb says there are many different reasons this could happen, including that the bobcat could have been desperate for food, was fed by people and more comfortable near them, or was rabid.

"Why it happened doesn’t matter as much as how do you keep it from happening to you? Carry something to put between you and said animal, be aware if you see something that doesn’t belong turn around and go in a different direction," said Robb.

Robb said you could carry something like a walking stick if you're near a wooded area with your dog so you can use that to put between your dog and a wild animal if needed.

Broadhurst said they would like the bobcat trapped and taken somewhere else.

"This is a very high-traffic area," said Broadhurst. "People walk their dogs, and have their kids, there are small kids in the area 1,2,3-year-olds and if the bobcat got on them, it would be a bad outcome."

Florida Fish and Wildlife did take a report and said they will be investigating.