Bobcat Attack Sends Family of Five to the Hospital


Madeline Farnsworth, Contributor

On Sunday morning on Shannon Campgrounds in Arizona, Jared and Heather Ray heard the blood chilling screams from their four year old daughter, Dannika. Fear went surging through the parents as they heard their daughter scream for help. “It’s a sound Jared Ray will never forget. It was the sound of his 4-year-old daughter, Dannika, getting attacked by a bobcat.” Heather ran to her daughter and yanked the bobcat off of her. “Heather removed the bobcat. She picked it up by the back of the neck and threw it, thinking that the bobcat would be done,” said Jared. However, the bobcat was not done. After being thrown off of Dannika by Heather , the bobcat proceeded to attack four other members of the Ray family. Jared Ray told local news, “I couldn’t believe it kept returning and attacking somebody else, and so at that point, I assumed it had to be rabid.” The bobcat was resilient and kept coming back despite the efforts given by the Ray family.  “Sam threw it twice. Berielle got it good with a rock. Just trying to do everything we could to get it to go away.” Finally, one member of the family was able to throw the bobcat into a nearby creek as the family ran and took shelter in their truck. All five of the family members were later treated at a local hospital for their injures. Later during an interview with 12 News, Jared and Heather Ray issued a warning, “We don’t like to think about if the bobcat had had more time before we could get there, so keeping everybody close, always make sure your kids stay close.”

This attack is rare considering the fact that bobcats are nocturnal animals. Bobcats are fierce hunters. However, “bobcats can kill prey much bigger than themselves, but usually eat rabbits, birds, mice, squirrels, and other smaller game.” Bobcats do not normally attack humans. Typically, bobcats are shy and they tend to avoid humans. This attack was rare to have had a bobcat confront and attack five humans. This rapid bobcat that uncharacteristically attacked the Ray family is still at large. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is actively searching for it and says it needs to be put down. This malicious, wild animal has the opportunity to harm or kill more people. The camp grounds that the Rays were staying at are in the middle of the season that they stay open for. The Shannon Campground and Snow Flats Authorities are advising visitors to stay away from the campgrounds until the rapid bobcat is caught and put down. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will test the animal before putting it down. They will not be able to say for sure what made this bobcat attack the Ray family.

Thankfully, there was no permanent damage caused from that bobcat. All the victims of the bobcat attack were only superficially hurt. Their injures were not fatal. There will take time for them to recovery mentally from this attack. However, little Dannika is excited to go camping again!