Central Fla. man shoots bobcat that killed animals, became threat

Man says killing bobcat that ate 30 chickens only option

MELBOURNE, Fla. – For more than a month, a family said it was terrorized by a bobcat that killed animals on their property, sometimes just feet away from them.

Ronnie Nail took matters into his own hands Tuesday when the bobcat pounced on and killed one of his free-range chickens right in front of him.

"He ate 30 chickens, basically one a day. All he's thinking about is food. He couldn't distinguish between a toddler and a chicken if it came to that. It gets to the point where it's either him or us," said Nail.

The bobcat forced his grandkids inside, and he worried about the families in the neighborhood nearby.

Nail said he tried trapping it, but that didn't work. Finally, he realized he had to stop it.

"Saturday evening we were sitting in the hot tub and right there, you see the feather on the ground? The cat came out of nowhere, killed a chicken right in front of us, like 8 feet away. Just splattered blood and feathers right in our face," said Nail. "No fear of man whatsoever."

So he grabbed his gun and waited, doing what Florida Fish and Wildlife said is the answer to when a bobcat becomes a "nuisance animal" -- threatening a person or their property.

Nail said killing the bobcat was the only option.