Sweetwater County Confirms First Rabid Bat In 16 Years

A bat found in the yard of a Rock Springs homeowner has been confirmed to be rabid, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday. It’s the county’s first rabid bat since 2007.

Clair McFarland

September 29, 20232 min read

Bats, like the one in this file photo, are a leading carrier of rabies.
Bats, like the one in this file photo, are a leading carrier of rabies. (Getty Images)

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office on Friday confirmed its first rabid bat in 16 years.  

Homeowners in Rock Springs found the bat in their yard last week, according to a Friday morning statement from the sheriff’s office.

The homeowners captured the bat and turned it over to animal control. The bat died naturally in captivity before it was tested.  

Authorities investigated the incident and found no known, direct contact between the rabid bat and pets or humans.  

“In Wyoming, rabies is commonly found in bats and skunks,” says the statement. “The virus is spread through bites and scratches from an infected animal. The disease cannot be transmitted by touching or handling an infected animal or its blood, feces, or urine.” 

Rabies is deadly, but can be prevented through vaccination and post-exposure treatment.

"Rabies is not uncommon in wild animals in Wyoming. You should avoid handling an animal that is wild or unknown to you; please call us instead. And remember to keep your livestock and pets current on their vaccinations,” said Chris Thomas, animal control officer for the sheriff's office.

The county's last rabid bat confirmation was in 2007, the statement says.

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter