A fearless grandmother in Georgia took on a bobcat with her bare hands in the driveway of her house, located in Hart County, 110 miles northeast of Atlanta.
DeDe Phillips, 46, had just finished taking a selfie with a bumper sticker at the back of her truck which read “Women who behave rarely make history” — a picture she planned on sending her husband — when she noticed the wildcat walk into her yard.
“My neighbor’s dog was barking and it drew my attention,” Philips told the local news outlet Athens Banner-Herald. She added that the moment she saw the creature, the first thing that popped into her mind was “not today! I wasn’t dying today.”
Moments after the thought passed her head, the bobcat pounced on her. “As soon as it took the first step, I was in trouble and I knew it,” Phillips told CBS-affiliated News Channel 5. “When it got to [the] pole, it leaped on me…I grabbed it by the shoulders and pushed it back away from me…and I took it down.”
After pinning the wildcat on the ground, she “started inching my hands up to its throat” and once her fingers were around its neck, she held on with all her might. “If I had ever let it go, it would have been me, so I made sure I never let it go,” Phillips said.
Until she was sure the creature could not move anymore, Philips kept herself from screaming, lest her granddaughter, who was sleeping inside the house, woke up. “I started praying, don’t let her come to the door,” Phillips said.
But soon she realized that she could not kill the animal alone, so, she called out for help. “Once I got him where he wasn’t moving I started screaming for my daughter-in-law to call 911,” the 46-year-old added.
Although she suffered a broken finger and several bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs, the grandmother kept the bobcat trapped between her hands till her daughter-in-law showed up and stabbed the animal four to five times. “It never budged, so I knew it was completely dead,” Philips said.
Being the daughter-in-law of a bobcat trapper, Philips knew exactly how to tackle an attack from a wildcat. “They go for your jugular . . . when they can get the vein you’re dead in a couple of minutes,” she said, adding that if she hadn’t acted swiftly, the creature would have bitten her face off.
Wildlife authorities arrived at her house and informed her that the dead bobcat was rabid. They proceeded to remove the body of the wildcat and burned its blood left behind in the driveway. Philips also had to get a round of anti-rabid shots.
Philips said the encounter with the bobcat was surprising as her house was located in the middle of soybean fields, and she never expected to come across a wildcat.