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.