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UPDATE: 2nd rabid bat found in SCV

Details added throughout

Posted: June 29, 2012 1:00 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2012 5:15 p.m.


The second rabid bat this season was found in a Santa Clarita warehouse, signaling what could be another record-high year of rabid bats in Los Angeles County, a veterinary public health official said Friday.

The bat was found clinging to an interior wall just inside a double door in the back of a small warehouse, said Dr. Emily Beeler, a spokeswoman for L.A. County Veterinary Public Health. The bat flew out the double doors and collapsed on the ground, Beeler said.

It remained on the ground and was picked up by animal control officers, Beeler said. The bat did not come into direct contact with any people or pets, she said.

Last year saw the highest number of rabid bats ever recorded in Los Angeles County with 38 found countywide. The Santa Clarita Valley alone saw 15 rabid bats.

Twelve rabid bats have been found in L.A. County so far this year, while only seven were found by this time last year.
Rabies tends to peak for a single year, but with 12 bats found before the peak month of August, this year could be high as well, said Dr. Karen Ehnert in a previous interview.

Beeler said only 1 percent of bats have rabies, and healthy bats are an important part of the ecosystem.

“When bats get rabies they don’t chase people,” Beeler said. “We don’t want people to be scared.”

Residents should keep their pets vaccinated and never touch a bat if they find one on the ground, Beeler said.
If residents encounter a bat on the ground, they should cover it with a box and call animal control, a public health official said.





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