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Bobcat attacks family during Mt. Graham camping trip

CORONADO NATIONAL FOREST — A bobcat attacked a family, including a 4-year-old girl, while camping just last week in Southern Arizona.

Bobcats are common and usually do not attack unless provoked. But a family camping trip on Mt. Graham turned dangerous, when they encountered a rabid bobcat.

Four-year-old Dannika Ray was playing on the campground around the family’s tent when her parents heard her scream.

“This was the scream that sends the chill down your spine,” says Dannika’s father Jared Ray.

She was being attacked by a bobcat. Family members ran to help the girl and drove the animal away.

“I attempted to kick it, but it dodged that easily and then it bit or scratched my hand,” said Ray.

Multiple family members were bitten and scratched in the process. Dannika was bleeding.

“I was surprised with when I got to her, how wounds bleed a lot, and so how much blood there was,” says Ray.

All 15 family members were treated as a precaution for rabies. Dannika had to have 9 stitches.

“You don’t have to be bit or scratched to get that saliva. If it’s out and about and you come in contact with it or cross transfer that can be cause for concern.”

Arizona Game and Fish went to the campground that night to try and locate the animal. However, officials were not able to locate it.

“The next morning early we went up, set some cage traps, actually used a predator call and played the predator call game trying to entice the animal to come back in,” says Devin Skinner with Arizona Game and Fish.

The family says the bobcat did not look sick or emaciated. So if you see any wild animals, authorities urge you to stay away and back away from it.

“Give wildlife their space, don’t act like oh it’s a zoo situation where you can approach it. They’re wild animals and they are unpredictable,” says Skinner.

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Stephanie Weaver

Stephanie Weaver is a weather anchor and reporter at News 4 Tucson.

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