A bobcat pauses to look straight at the photographer's camera while walking in a forest in Milford. Credit: Courtesy of Pam Wells

A North Carolina man was unloading groceries when a growl warned him something was near his car.

As he heard the noise and saw his chickens scatter, Scott Jackson told news outlets he spotted a bobcat in his Moore County driveway. That’s when the animal reportedly climbed onto his back and took him down.

“He had me face down in the carport,” Jackson said about the encounter earlier this month, according to the Sandhills Sentinel.

While fighting off the bobcat, Jackson told ABC11 he twisted the animal’s paw until it released him.

“I couldn’t tell you how long it all lasted. I’d say five seconds, at the most, but it was a scary five seconds,” Jackson said, according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.

Jackson raced into his home to safety. He was bitten and had about a dozen wounds when he went to a medical center for rabies shots, given as a precaution, news outlets reported this week.

“Even the doctor in the ER said, ‘If he had been up closer to your jugular, you would’ve been done for,'” Jackson told The Pilot. “He just clamped down on my shoulder and wouldn’t let go.”

That same day, officials said a growl led a nearby homeowner to discover a bobcat under a deck, the newspaper reported. The animal was shot and killed.

That bobcat tested positive for rabies, but the Moore County Sheriff’s Office didn’t confirm to news outlets that it was the same animal involved in the earlier attack. Officials said a responding deputy hadn’t been able to find a bobcat near Jackson’s house, according to an incident report obtained by McClatchy News.

“Still kind of odd to go outside and not think about it,” Jackson told the Sandhills Sentinel. “The only words of wisdom I can give you on this is if you hear a growl, don’t go near it.”

Jackson lives in the Eastwood area, near the golf destination Pinehurst and roughly 65 miles southwest of Raleigh.

Bobcats are found throughout North Carolina and can live near trees or swamps. The animals — which can weigh about 40 pounds — are rarely seen, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said on its website.

But rabies can cause animals to show different behaviors, The Pilot reported.

It’s not the first time a bobcat was spotted in North Carolina this year. In April, video captured the moment a man tossed a rabid bobcat across a Pender County yard.

Story by Simone Jasper, The News & Observer.