Rabid Bat Found North of Rock Springs

Rabid Bat Found North of Rock Springs

SWEETWATER COUNTY – A rabid bat was discovered within Sweetwater County for the first time since 2007.

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office says the bat was captured at a home north of Rock Springs. The homeowners found the bat in their yard last week. They captured it and turned the animal over to Sweetwater County Animal Control for testing. The bat died in captivity before it would be tested. A subsequent investigation revealed there wasn’t known direct contact between the bat and residents and their pets.

Christine Thomas, an animal control officer for the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office told SweetwaterNOW the delay between when the bat was submitted to the sheriff’s office and when it was tested is the result of when it was received. She said the homeowners caught the bat last Thursday and turned it over Friday. She said temperature is crucial when it comes to a test for rabies and couldn’t send the bat for testing until Monday.

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“If I sent it Friday, it would have sat in a warehouse all weekend,” she said.

The lab received the bat Tuesday and initial confirmation of the rabies test was issued Wednesday.

According to a release from the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, rabies is common in bats and skunks. The virus spreads through bites and scratches from an infected animal, though it can’t be transmitted by touching handling an infected animal, or the blood, urine, or feces of an infected animal.

“Rabies is not uncommon in wild animals in Wyoming,” Thomas said in a press release issued by the sheriff’s office. “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.”