LAUDERHILL, Fla. – A couple was taken to Broward Health Medical Center Friday morning after they were attacked by what they described as a bobcat while on their morning walk near their home in Lauderhill.
The incident occurred around 5 a.m. outside the Greens of Inverarry complex on Northwest 44th Street.
Rupert Fray, who is in his 70s, suffered a hip fracture while trying to protect his wife, Ezlan, who is in her 80s, from the wild animal.
Ezlan Fray's finger was nearly completely bitten off, and she suffered lacerations to her head, face, arm and wrist, and punctures and scratches to her midsection.
"They called me and told me they fell down," the couple's neighbor, Veronica Wong, said. "When I went down there, I saw the wife on the ground with a lot of blood. She was bleeding badly."
A Lauderhill Fire Rescue crew responded to the scene and transported the couple to the hospital. Rupert Fray has since been released from the hospital, while his wife remains there in fair condition.
Authorities have not been able to track down the animal or confirm whether it was indeed a bobcat.
"We don't have any confirmation of what the animal was," Lauderhill Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Jeff Levy said. "She has some Injuries to her face and arm that are consistent with an animal attack."
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is investigating the incident, bobcats are generally twice the size of a domestic cat and are widely found throughout Florida "in deep forest, swamps and hammock land."
"In rural areas, bobcats can range five or six square miles and generally cover their territory in a slow, careful fashion," the FWC website states. "In urban to suburban areas, the range of territory usually decreases to 1 or 2 miles."