While an elderly couple was out on a morning stroll earlier this month, they thought they were attacked by a bobcat. Florida officials now say the culprit was actually a raccoon.
On Thursday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received the DNA results from hair samples collected at the animal attack that happened on Oct. 4 in Lauderhill.
The results said the animal’s species was raccoon.
The Lauderhill woman suffered multiple injuries to her face and arms — with some serious bleeding. Her husband also suffered an injury while trying to protect her.
The husband told authorities a bobcat came out of the bushes and attacked his wife.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that the 71-year-old husband, Rupert Fray, suffered a fractured hip after falling while trying to protect his wife, 85-year-old Eslyn Fray.
They are both out of the hospital and recovering.
Raccoons are commonly attracted to human areas by garbage, pet food, bird seed and gardens. Once they become accustomed to being fed, raccoons lose their natural fear of humans and move closer to food sources. Raccoons are nocturnal but can be active during the day, which is not an indication of illness.
The FWC says there are ways to prevent problems with raccoons:
▪ Never feed raccoons or other wildlife. Doing so is illegal in Florida.
▪ Talk to your neighbors and children about not leaving out food or trash.
▪ Supervise and leash dogs and keep cats indoors to protect them from raccoons or other predators.
▪ Don’t approach wildlife.
▪ Anyone bitten by an animal should seek medical attention.