Elsen Fray, 85, and her husband, 71-year-old Rupert Fray, went on an early morning walk Friday in their Lauderhill, Fla., neighborhood. One was walking a little faster than the other, so the two were in different areas of the walking path when a wild animal attacked Elsen Fray.
Rupert Fray, who just had open-heart surgery, fell down while trying to protect his wife. His brother, Howard Fray, says he fractured his hip in the fall.
“He was trying to help his wife when a bobcat attacked her. He was trying to help out with his condition. He has a heart problem,” Howard Fray said.
Lauderhill Fire Rescue crews transported the couple to the hospital.
Elsen Fray suffered puncture wounds to her face and arms and lost part of her finger. She is said to be in fair condition.
"She's talking now. She's moving around in pain. She lost a right finger. She has a chip on her forehead, stitches, and all over her body has been bitten. She has bites all over the arms, both arms, face, lips, everywhere with bites,” Howard Fray said.
Though Rupert Fray has been discharged, he remains by his wife’s side.
Both victims say they are sure the animal that attacked them was a bobcat, but authorities have not been able to confirm that.
“Not sure exactly what the animal was. She does have injuries consistent with an animal attack… If indeed it was a bobcat attack… that would be an unusual event in a metropolitan area like this,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Levy with the Lauderhill Fire Department.
Lauderhill police officers searched the area for the wild animal but did not find it.
Residents say they are routinely warned about alligators in the area, but bobcats are not usually of concern. Still, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say while bobcat attacks may be rare, they can happen.
The woman and her husband are sure the animal that attacked them was a bobcat, but authorities have not been able to confirm that.