“Good morning!” a man in shorts and a fleece jacket carrying what appears to be a tray of baked goods called to a jogger outside his suburban home.
Ten seconds later, the seemingly benign man turned into what some people are calling a Hulk-like hero when a bobcat attacked his wife in North Carolina.
Home security cameras captured the bizarre moment the unidentified man hurled a bobcat across his Pender County yard and threatened to shoot it. The 46-second clip was first posted on TikTok and has since been widely shared on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.
One woman’s tweet with the video had been viewed nearly 10 million times as of Friday afternoon.
Warning: This video contains explicit language and material that might be difficult for some people to watch.
Capt. James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office in Eastern North Carolina confirmed Friday the video is related to an incident that occurred just before 7:30 a.m. on April 9 involving a rabid bobcat near the Creekside subdivision in Burgaw, about 45 minutes north of Wilmington near the coast.
Rowell told McClatchy News the bobcat attacked another person before it arrived at the house where the security footage was taken.
“It’s not uncommon to see bobcats,” Rowell said. “They don’t normally cause a problem — they stay away from folks.”
The animal was taken to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health in Raleigh, where officials determined it was positive for rabies, the sheriff’s office said.
‘Definitely not a cat’
In a four-minute 911 recording from Pender County provided to media outlets Friday, a woman can be heard telling dispatchers her neighbor was attacked by a bobcat.
The caller went on to say she thought the neighbor needed medical attention and that the bobcat was still hiding under a car. The dispatcher then questioned whether it might be a domestic animal.
“It’s definitely not a cat,” the caller responded.
She described the animal as gray and yellow with leopard print. The dispatcher then instructed the caller to tell the other person at the scene to get a safe distance away but keep an eye on the animal.
“Yes, he’s standing there, with a gun,” the caller said. “If he can shoot it, he will. But, of course, there’s nobody around — he can’t hurt anybody else.”
The dispatcher is heard telling deputies the homeowner had a gun and might shoot the animal when a gunshot rang out.
“Oh, I think he just did,” the dispatcher said.
Later in the call, another neighbor arrived and said he was also attacked by the bobcat. The call ended with the woman trying to send the dispatcher a photo of the animal.
Rowell said the bobcat was euthanized by law enforcement.
In the video of the wild encounter, a man called Happy is heard greeting a jogger as he set down a to-go cup and made a comment about needing to wash the car.
That’s when the screaming began.
The man’s wife ran between two vehicles in the driveway, and a scuffle ensued before he emerged holding the bobcat over his head. The animal appeared to be snarling and hissing as the man launched it across the front yard and yelled, “Get out, get out, get out!”
The video shows the bobcat dash under the car as the man chased it and hollered for his wife to watch out.
“I’m going to shoot that [expletive]!” he yelled. “Get out!”
In the final few seconds of the video, the man appeared to warn someone off screen that a bobcat just attacked his wife.
Some people on social media were baffled by the encounter, but most seemed impressed.
A few expressed concern for the bobcat and questioned whether they had witnessed animal cruelty.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, wildlife biologist Imogene Cancellare said bobcats “don’t normally seek out humans.” She said the creatures are defensive — not offensive — and typical human interactions involve bobcats that are cornered in buildings or have attacked pets.
“Bobcats are opportunistic hunters and will kill small pets, but I’m not sure how common it is for them to actually eat a pet dog or cat vs killing it to eliminate a threat,” Cancellare said. “Carnivores do that sometimes, sorry.”