You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Holden man shoots, kills attacking bobcat

HOLDEN — A local man who had just come home from work said he threw a bobcat that attacked him to the ground and shot it to death.

Michael Votruba, 24, got home from work on Monday, got out of his truck, and went to the passenger side to grab his things when he saw an animal scurry into the space between the carport and his house.

Continue reading below

The growling animal, which he estimated weighed 25 to 30 pounds, started to approach him, so Votruba drew the handgun he was carrying.

When he fell backward, the cat jumped on his leg.

He shook the cat off his leg and ran a few steps before the animal jumped on his chest.

Votruba said he grabbed the cat by the neck, threw it to the ground, and shot it twice.

That did not deter the animal, which jumped back on his chest.

‘Most of the time they’re shy and secretive, and the only time they show aggression to people is when they’re rabid.’

Quote Icon

He shot it two more times. Then his girlfriend brought out his rifle, which had been locked inside, so he shot the animal several more times to kill it.

He credited the firearms with saving his life.

‘‘There’s a good chance I would have had to smother it or something,’’ he told The Telegram & Gazette. ‘‘There’s a good chance I would have got cut to shreds.’’

Votruba said he had holes in his shirt, but did not suffer any scratches to his chest.

He did have a scrape on his elbow. He went to a hospital and received rabies shots as a precaution, and an updated tetanus shot.

A Massachusetts Environmental Police officer took the animal for testing at a state lab. A spokesman said Thursday that results were not yet available, but the department did say the bobcat had porcupine quills embedded in its skin.

The estimated statewide bobcat population is about 1,200 to 1,300, said Tom O’Shea, assistant director of wildlife at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

‘‘Most of the time they’re shy and secretive, and the only time they show aggression to people is when they’re rabid,’’ he said.

In January, a bobcat attacked a man and his teenage nephew in Brookfield, about 15 miles from Holden.

That animal tested positive for rabies.

Still, O’Shea said there is no need for alarm.

‘‘People should be more wary of raccoons, skunks, and even stray cats,’’ he said.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.