Fisher Cat Attacks Child at Bus Stop

Kid walking to bus stop attacked by a fisher cat

Fisher Cat Attack – Department of Environmental Management Officials are searching for a fisher cat that attacked a 6-year-old boy on Karen Drive in Hopkinton, Rhode Island on Monday June 22, 2009.

Police say the boy was waiting for the bus with his mother and other kids, when the 20-to-25 pound animal appeared. The mother told the animal attacked when the group started walking away.

The mother kicked the animal off her son, and another child threw a backpack at the fisher cat. A neighbor eventually chased the fisher cat away.

The boy was taken to Westerly Hospital, and treated for bites on his leg.  Fisher cats are relatives of the weasel. They tend to be nocturnal, and often prey on smaller animals like chipmunks and squirrels.

77 responses to “Fisher Cat Attacks Child at Bus Stop

  1. oh my goodness poor boy!!! i have a fisher cat living n my nieghborhood! i hear they can be very viciois!!!!!! be careful..

  2. 20 to 25 lbs!! I don’t think they get that big. Is it possible it was a different kind of animal or more likely they grossly overestimated the size and weight. I understood that 15lbs is the upper limit.

    1. They do get that big I just encountered one taking my son to the bus and had to run for my life the thing was huge. three time the size of my nine pound cat.

      1. This comment a fisher above gave me pause for a moment…
        “I just encountered one taking my son to the bus …” Maybe Anon. shuld tell her son not to go with strangers? Even nice furry ones? Lol.

  3. You know, Anonymous, although I don’t necessarily disagree with your solution in general, I don’t think putting a couple of rounds into anything is a good idea AT A CHILDREN’S BUS STOP. (But I like your cut and dry “problem? solution!” way of thinking. 😉 )

  4. October 9, 2009

    Fisher cat just crossed in front of my car, 12 noon, on rt. 216 at the North Stonington line, in Hopkinton RI. I never saw one before and had to look it up on this site…….it was a fisher cat indeed……. everyone becareful out there.

  5. I use my surface to air pellet artillery to take care of the squirrels at my bird feeders, then I just leave them on the ground so that the fisher cat can take them away at night. They have to eat too you know. If I miss a day he stays under my window at night and makes his sounds.

  6. A fisher cat killed my pigeons last fall (2009)… It came onto my porch, got into the cage and ate all but one of my purebred birds… the one left had to be euthanized because her leg was torn almost completely off. Therest of my birds now have to live in a cage in the garage! Fishers are sneaky, vicious and nasty…. why the DEP reintroduced them to this area is beyond me.


  8. having a fisher cat taking out cats in the neighbor hood harassing my dog eli (100lbs Akita German Shepperd) witch he hasn’t attacked but only ran away and stood its ground too eli. and max (rotty) up the road chained up tho always barkin in the middle of the night. WTF Mauser should do the trick

  9. According to Dr. Roger Powell, an expert (probably ‘the’ expert) on fishers, the biggest fisher on record is 20 pounds, so this could have been a fisher with an over-estimated weight. Even if it was a fisher, it was a rare event for a human to be attacked. I would assume they also treated the boy for a possible rabies infection.

  10. I understand that fisher cats were captured and killed in the 1900s(?). They moved to PA, VA and WVA. The porcupine population then got out of control, and for 50 years or so, towns paid a bounty for porcupine paws–I dimly recall this from my early childhood.

    These laws were removed and the fisher was brought back to create a balance, that is, eat the porcupines, which they are able to do–one of the few animals that can.

    Meanwhile, turkeys were reintroduced, and that has been very successful. Fishers are useful in keeping their numbers down.

    As for house cats being out and about–bad idea; they decimate bird population and belong inside, particularly at night when they are susceptible to the wild animals. In the west–where people build their subdivisions in the woods–one must be mindful of cougars–and you really have to keep your little ones close at hand when hiking. So do count your blessings! I once decided not to buy a house in Issaquah in the forest as I didn’t want to have to worry about that. I worry less about the fisher cat–except when they wake us up at night and we all ask each other–did you lock up the chickens? –while the dog barks madly.

    As for killing squirrels–do hope it’s not the red, as they are endangered by the more aggressive gray.

  11. I wish that they’d eat the groundhogs/marmots/woodchucks….they’ve multiplied and are making a mess of the place–kids attached to them. I wonder why they can’t get these critters? Perhaps because groundhogs are out in the day, and fishers are out in the night?

  12. I live in Hopkinton, MA and saw one two weeks ago in my yard. It’s the second I’ve seen in two months. I was carrying my senior dog out back for a widdle when I noticed the Fisher 8 feet off my back porch. Slowly, I backed up and placed dog back in house. I stared at the fisher studying its face trying to discern exactly what I was looking at. It was 8:00 p.m. at night. As I stared at her, she stared back at me. After I yelled at her to get out, she ran towards my house along the hedges and darted across street. I got in my vehicle to see if I could see a glimpse as I thought she ran into the woods. She was in still in the street scraping berries that had fallen off trees. She was a good size and looked very sneaky. A few months prior to this, a neighbor told me they saw a Fisher fighting with a racoon in our garbage. I’m extremely worried for my small dogs. Thinking of getting a bb gun or something to protect my children and dogs. Don’t want to kill them but they are encroaching on our boundaries.

  13. I too live in Hopkinton, Ma. I live in the center of town near main street. This has been the worst year for fisher cats. They make their rounds every 2- 3 nights and ruin a good nights sleep. They have been killing cats in the neighborhood. It’s hard to keep a cat in at night so I’m sure we’ll loose ours soon. They are a predator that should be feared. As winter approaches they will be hunting more aggressively. The state should be brought in to trap them and move them or destroy them. The state is responsible for managing their numbers. If I thought I wouldn’t be arrested for firing a gun in a neighborhood I would shoot them myself. As the number of fisher cats grow, and they will, there will be more incidents just like what’s happening with the coyotes accross the state.

  14. I live in Shrewsbury Mass and there appeared to be a fishercat in my backyard at 4am last night. i too have a cat and a daughter better be careful. I hope people can stay far enough away from them.

  15. I had two cats and one went missing two weeks ago… I think its not there anymore. There are five foxes in the neighborhood and maybe more than one but there is a fisher cat. There have been 8 cats missing from other neighbors in the past year. The neighbors across the street normally hear it but havent lately. Theres no trace of any of my cat either. No collar no fur. I’ve cried almost every night. I have another cat thats more weak and scared than the other adn I dont want to go through that pain again. I’m getting rid of that thing!!!!

  16. okay so im 14, and i hear fishercats in my friends neighborhood all the time. at first, i thought my freiends were making them up or something, because we were all high as shit and we could hear screeches, and i thought we were just imagining it, but my friends saw it in a tree. now, every person i tell has already heard about fishcats, scary shit mannn.

  17. We live in Ellington, CT and have heard folks talk about fishers being in the area. I’ve seen about every other predator native to this area here at the base of Shenipsit State Forest. Tonight I finally saw not one – but two fisher cats. I was unplugging a charger from a battery in front of the house when I heard a comotion coming from the chicken coup and remembered I forgot to lock them up earlier (we free range our birds). By the time I turned the lights on in the backyard and grabbed a weapon the noises stopped. Running out to the back I came within 15-20 feet of a fisher. He ran down the hill and left my prize rooster stuck in the bushes. I hustled to get a flashlight and from the back porch my daughter said ‘Dad – it’s coming back up the hill!’ I stood my ground about 20 ft or so from the rooster and watched as the fisher tried to work the rooster free from the base of the thick lilac bush. Not wanting to wake the neighbors I grabbed a basball bat instead and watched for a minute (since I thought the bird was already gone). I always thought fishers hunted alone but this was not the case. My daughter yelled down ‘ Daddy the rooster is moving! Help him!’ Just as I stepped forward another fisher scrambled up the bank on the other side of the bush. We starred at each other for a moment as the first fisher went scooting down the hill. The second fisher tried one more time for the chicken and then also ran down the bank. At this point the rooster was coming out of shock and was yelping loudly and was managing to unstick himself from the bush. I grabbed his legs and righted him as he still yelped out in the night. I could hear the fishers working themselves through the leaves back towards the coop – so I had my niece, daughter and boyfiend come down off the porch and shine the flashlight and man the baseball bat as we made our way down the steps to the barn and coop below. Once the rooster was back in the coop with his hens he settled down but still seemed to be in a daze. I didn’t see any blood on him but his neck feathers appeared to be ruffled up a bit. In the light of the morning I’ll check him out further but it appears that he is one lucky and brave bird!

  18. Fishers are not cats, they’re a weasel. The name comes from Americanized versions of European names for them such as “Fitcher” Adding the word cat just sounds ignorant as is the tone of most of the posts on this website. Hysterical and paranoid. People act like wild predators are coming out of the woodwork to kill everyone, their kids, and pets when it’s simply not true. Cats are more likely killed or stolen by people than killed by wild animals and fishers are the least likely to kill cat because of their habitat preference. (I’ve seen many teenagers catch and abuse cats in horrible ways). I don’t believe half these “sightings” as I’ve known many people mistake house cats for mountain lions and turtles for beavers.

    Fishers (and other weasels) are not mindlessly vicious animals. When they get into a chicken (or Pigeon) coop, they kill as much as they can because the fisher is expecting to be able to come back and eat more. Usually, they will “cache” food (store it for later) because in the wild they may have to go a long time without catching a meal. The fisher hasn’t evolved to deal with a huge amount of prey locked in a coop.

    You’re more likely to die in a car accident than be hurt or killed by any wild animal. Sometimes weasels will follow or stare at humans out of curiosity and sometimes they will comepletely ignore humans while they’re hunting. I’ve spent hours with wild fishers and they haven’t ripped me apart. While fishers were almost driven to extinction by humans; how many humans have actually been hurt by a fisher (1 or 2 per decade; usually trappers or from captive animals) or killed by a fisher (none). Humans are far more dangerous than any other animal.

  19. One more thing. Porcupines were never “a menace” as stated in the “bio” about Fishers. A couple of shoddy papers were published overestimating porcupine populations and the damage they cause to forests which led to the reintroduction of fishers (which was a positive action despite the reason.) Porcupine damage to forests was found to be insignificant compared to damage from weather, fire, and insects. There are plenty of books with actual factual information from scientific literature about porcupines and fishers to put foolish notions to rest. I would suggest people educate themselves before spouting heresay and paranoia.

  20. Fishers are not cats. They are part of the weasel family. Domestic cats that are allowed to roam outside can be killed or injured by other domestic cats, stray dogs, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, humans, and mostly automobiles. The fisher that attacked the youngster was almost certainly rabid – this is not normal fisher behavior.
    The fisher is NOT a danger to humans. On the contrary, it is humans who have almost wiped out the fisher. Keep your cats indoors and your chicken coops secured.

  21. I am so sick and tired of people using the phrase… “they were here first, and we are greedy humans.” Seriously? If you feel so bad about being human and being on their so called turf… why don’t you just try and be one of them then… we don’t need you!!! Humans are the top of the evolutionary ladder so far and as long as that is true… Sucks to be everything else. We don’t have to kill everything, but if it attacks or even becomes a nuisance… then pop goes the weasel!!!

  22. i hope he is better and i agree with nobody!!!! just my idea of it just leave the fisher cat alone ughhhughhhughh

  23. fishercat are a pain in the $#@ i have a farm and when i see em they dissapear never to be seen again we have a big problem with them ive seen some as big as 29lbs weighted em myself and they kill just to kill. i dont give em a chance to attact my kids, i’ve had them come rite up to me in the woods hunting and had to shoot them dont get to close to them or you gona get bite trust me on that

  24. Fishers are not cats… but they DO eat cats! They are in the weasel and wolverine family and have the very nasty disposition of the wolverine. I live in Maine and we’ve all lost many cats and small dogs to fishers. I’ve seen some on the side of the road at night and they will snarl and growl and hiss at the car if you pull over and stop! LOL The problem is they have no predators… (or none that I know of!) we have coyotes, but they won’t touch the fishers because they will attack. Fishers kill in a very specific manner by jumping around their prey tiring it out… then they start biting and scratching the face and attack that area until the animal starts bleeding to death and gets really tired and disoriented. That’s when the fisher turns them over and rips them apart and eats them. Not many animals can kill a porcupine but the fisher stays in front of it and attacks the face and it can skin a porcupine better than any human ever could. Those who say fishers are harmless to humans don’t know much about animals. A fisher is mean and will attack if it feels threatened… and on top of that they are just plain mean!

  25. We found a dead baby fisher in our front yard this morning. I am assuming that since there was a baby the mom wouldn’t be too far away. I have four small dogs, and a couple cats. It killed one of our smaller dogs a couple years back, and also attacked our golden retriever. It never touched any of the cats only the dogs. I’m kind of worried about letting my dogs outside.

  26. KEdd and jerry you guys are absolutely right and I agree that is what’s wrong with everything. Do you guys ever come over to Rosemont Court? We shold

  27. I saw what appeared to be a large black cat with some white in it’s underside running from my garage one night last week. It looked too large to be one of my cats and I did not recognize it but it was dark out. We had two black cats and they have been missing for a few months now one just recently and I thought that it may have been one of them but it ran away from my headlights as I pulled into my driveway. My cats were the friendliest cats we loved them very much and because of their Siamese genetics would talk to us all the time. I never thought that I was putting them at risk by letting them outside. They naturally wanted to go out so they were inside at night and out during the day. I also raise ducks they are larger than normal and had 8 until last night. I didn’t hear a thing but saw the aftermath of what happened to just one of my ducks and the awful injury’s to my other 4 ducks necks and shoulders. How do I keep my animals safe? I fear for them. I bought a have a heart trap thinking that what ever killed them would get trapped inside but everyone is warning me of great danger. I live right in the center of town. I have an 11 year old daughter that feeds our animals. What is it that is brave enough to be right in town and in my barn?

  28. That’s highly unusual behavior for a fisher- there’s a very good chance this creature was suffering from rabies. It’s certainly appropriate to shoot any rabid animal; it’s going to die a lingering death anyway, and could endanger people and pets in the meanwhile.

  29. this is the first time i have seen a fishercat didn’t even know that they existed but here in chateaugay they have been attacking and killing peoples dogs.

  30. I’m curious to know what prompted the attack on the boy. If they attack humans people should know way more about them. I see ones in newton that are way bigger than twenty five pounds. I saw two of them that looked as big as a badger.

  31. We have one in our neighborhood. Every once and awhile it gets a neighborhood cat, and the other day it got my neighbors ducks. I am getting chickens soon and wouldnt really care if the fisher eats a couple $2 chickens. If you let your cat run around outside, for one you are ignorant, and two accept the possible demise of your domesticated invasive species. The stories of these things attacking people are extremely exagerated if not outright fiction. And for all you idiots saying you should shoot the thing; if your cowardice of a 20 lbs animal drives you to exterminate it, maybe you deserve a bullet.

  32. We used to have a huntable turkey population around here in western PA. Not anymore thanks to the fisher. I will shoot every one that I see from now on!

  33. Our dog was barking wildly today at one in our yard. We watched it cross about 2 acres of wooded land. The dog got out and chased it up a tree. This was in Hanover, MA.

  34. Tonight was the very first time i have heard the sounds the fishercat can make,and that sound is very haunting.I will never forget it.

  35. So if i read this right, that child was attacked because somebody had decided to relocate they predators to our area? who makes these decisions? the best part is that if you had a one in your backyard, animal control will not come UNTIL they actually attack and/or kill a family pet….or in this case, a helpless child.

    1. These animals (Fisher Cat) are native to the Northeast, they are usually not aggressive towards humans unless provoked or cornered. The fact that this animal was out during the day and it actually attacked a human is alarming.

      I would venture a guess and say that it was probably either protecting it’s young nearby, or rabid.

      I live in Massachusetts, we have tons of them in Brimfield, the sounds of a fisher cat is blood curdling, not to be confused with the alarm cry of the fox, one of there favorite meals.

    2. You’re a tool. The fishers have not been “relocated”. They are have been reintroduced. They are a native species on this continent. Any place forests existed, so did the fisher. If a fisher eats you, its certainly wont start with your brains. Dirtbag Fisher Hater!

  36. I live about 10 minutes not even away from Westerly,RI in Pawcatuck,CT and this freaks me out because I sometimes walk around my block at night and there are woods surrounding the neighborhood where I live….maybe I should carry a bat with me with nails in it just in case…

    1. I take my small dogs for walks in Moore woods in Westerly. Last week I saw a large Fisher in those woods. I got some pepper spray but still am concerned that the Fisher could grap my dog and run off with it before I could stop it. They are very scary and don’t belong in populated areas.

  37. Don’t be such weenies. So what, the kid got a few cuts. I’ve had worse rabbit bites!! I have a cat two dogs and a rabbit, and they all have bitten me at one time or another. A fisher attacking a little boy at a bus stop, hmmm who’s fault is that? pets cause worse injuries and people don’t do anything. My kid brother got bit by a squirrel he caught once and it gave him rabies. squirrels are everywhere so no one cared.

    1. Ignorance! so it’s the parents or the kids fault for the attack? really? wow, the faculty of the human condition never ceases to amaze me….

    2. Dude. Where is your compassion? You obviously are not maternal or paternal and should not be a parent.

    3. I agree! I mean really! I live near Springfield, Mass. Right next to a greenbelt and just found out about our neighborhood fishers. My friends 7 year old 60 pound sister has gone down there with her older brother and had no problem. My terrier rat dog has had no problem. The kids probably taunted the cat and threw sticks at it so it attacked in self defense.

    4. Surprises me that nobody has questioned the legitamacy of ID of the species. Is it possible another animal did this?

      And oh yeah, the fisher belongs here, you don’t. How many people were killed by fishers in your city/town this year? How many people killed by people? Even if you pro rate this per capita, we still are the crueler and bloodier species.

      …. and yes “dont be a weenie”, the kid could be a pussy!

      1. Anon- True. It is MORE than likely misidentified, as this happens frequently. People need to dial down the hysteria a bit. Fishers are often confused for Minks, Weasels and sometimes even Grey Fox. (Since Grey Fox are known occasionally to be arboreal). IF it was a Fisher that ‘attacked’ this kid, it was rabid. Nobody should be freaked out and start carrying bats with nails in it. *EYE ROLL*

    5. Not one of my many pets has ever bit me. You appear to be a very scary, cruel hearted person. I am sure your animals are probably biting you out of self defense. Lord help us all!

  38. it is true that humans are taking over the habitats of wild animals,therfore there will tend to be more attacks. they attack out of fear–who shouldn’t be afraid of crazy humans destroying the planet and sucking up whatever room we have left. oh and by the way im not meternial either–more time for me, me, me i guess and my 3 horses two dogs and 5 cats. god i love life!!!!

  39. That’s awful! It must have had rabies.
    At least he has a good reason to not ride the shitty bus anymore.

  40. I saw it agin last nite. We had to get the key from out canoe since that is where my grandfather kept it. When we saw it it looked really big and I was scared sh*tless but them since there were three of us and we were bigger I knew we could take it. That fisher must have new what was going to happen because it went primo fight church and tore the hell out of us. I thought it was rabid but we got it in a cage. It is very angry but I don’t feel sad for this monster.

    This is over on Rosemont Court the house next to Gommie’s if you know where that is.

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  43. A Fisher Cat?! First time I’ve ever heard of them. When I saw the picture of it crossing the street, I assumed that it was a ferret (which was close to accurate, seeing that they’re in the same family).

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