Rabid bat found at Denver Zoo

DENVER - A wild bat that is not part of Denver Zoo's collection tested positive for rabies.

The bat was found in the primate exhibit August 2. A zoo staff member saw the oddly behaving bat, safely captured it and took it to the zoo's veterinary hospital.

The bat was euthanized and sent to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for rabies testing.

There were no reports of anyone making contact with the bat but as a precaution, are looking for visitors who were in close proximity.

"People who were at the zoo Aug. 2 should know about the rabid bat," said state public health veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House. "Anyone who may have handled or touched a bat at the zoo, or learns their child had contact with a bat, should immediately contact the state health department at 303-692-2700, or their medical provider for advice, to determine whether they should receive preventive therapy for rabies."

Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Bat teeth are small and sharp, and a wound from a bat bite may not be visible, so anyone who has had contact with a bat should be evaluated for exposure.

To avoid exposure to rabies:·

  • Never touch a wild bat or any other wild animal. If you can touch the animal, chances are it is sick.·
  • Teach children who find a bat to leave it alone and tell an adult.
  • Do not pick up a bat with your hands, even if you're wearing gloves. Use a shovel.
  • If you are bitten by a bat, suspect you've been exposed to bat saliva, or awake to find a bat in the room where you are sleeping, contact your medical provider
  • Keep your doors and windows covered with intact screens. Do not leave screenless doors or windows open in the evening.·
  • If you have bats in your house, call a professional trapper who has experience eliminating bats from homes.·
  • Keep your pets up to date on rabies vaccines. If you are unsure your pets are up to date, call your veterinarian.

For additional information on rabies please visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/rabies-data.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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