Originally Published: September 15, 2018 11:39 a.m.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — A bat collected from the bottom of the Grand Canyon has tested positive for rabies.
Park officials said Friday that visitors have reported an uptick in bats along the Colorado River.
No one is known to have come in contact with the rabid bat. It was taken from Phantom Ranch in late August and tested.
Health officials say rabies is preventable in humans if they seek medical treatment after being exposed to a rabid animal. It can be deadly otherwise.
Arizona Department of Health Services advises people to not touch or feed wild animals, even if the animal appears normal. Officials ask that you contact local animal control officials if you see an animal exhibiting aggressive or unusual behavior. You can also contact Arizona Game and Fish Department at 602-942-3000. But ADHA warns that rabid animals may sometimes not show any signs of illness.
Anyone who suspects they or their pet have been bitten by, or been in contact with, a rabid animal should seek medical attention immediately and contact their county public health department.
Health statistics show 116 animals have tested positive for rabies around the state so far this year. Most of those involve bats, skunks and foxes.