Grandma attacked, kills bobcat with bare hands

By Kim Passoth

Hart County, GA (WGCL) -- A north Georgia grandma killed a rabid bobcat with her bare hands. She was attacked in her driveway as her 5-year-old granddaughter slept inside.

The incident occurred in Hart County, which is about 110 miles northeast of Atlanta.

“My first thought [was] not today! I wasn’t dying today,” said Dede Phillips.

Just moments before wrestling the wildcat last Thursday, Phillips put a sticker on the back of her new truck: "women who behave rarely make history." She walked inside to grab her iPhone to take a picture of the sticker, and with the camera app open, walked outside to find a bobcat staring at her.

Seconds after snapping a picture, it attacked.

“As soon as it took the first step, I was in trouble and I knew it,” said Phillips. “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.”

It bit and broke fingers on both of her hands and cut and bruised her all over her body. With her granddaughter sleeping inside, Phillips never screamed.

“I started praying, don’t let her come to the door,” said Phillips.

She managed to get her hands around the animal's throat and never let go.

“And I strangled it to death,” said Phillips.

Her home is in the middle of soybean fields, so she never expected to encounter a bobcat. Authorities found out it was rabid and burned the blood left in her front yard.

Now, she must get a painful and expensive series of shots to keep her from contracting the disease.

She believes if she hadn’t killed the rabid animal, it would have killed her.

“If I had ever let it go, it would have been me, so I made sure I never let it go,” said Phillips.

Phillips’ cousin has set up an account to raise money for medical expenses. The first round of rabies shots have already cost her $10,000.

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