Rabid bat caught hanging around a popular Seattle park

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Generic photo of brown bat. (Photo: Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)

Seattle — For the second time this summer, a rabid bat was found in Madison Park in Seattle.

On Saturday, a park visitor spotted a bat clinging to a bottom of a tree near the swings by the playground. Immediately after receiving notification from the visitor, the grounds crew taped off the area and called animal control.

Seattle health officials are urging any anyone who may have come in contact with the rabid bat to call 206 296-4774. Owners of pets should also call in.

On July 15, another rabid bat was discovered at Madison Park beach. The one discovered on Aug. 17 was from a different solitary species. Health officials say the two cases were an unusual coincidence and it does not suggest an outbreak among local bat colonies.

Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system that is almost always fatal once someone starts showing symptoms. The symptoms are similar to the flu.

If you find a bat inside your home, you are asked to trap it with a box or container that has a lid. Pierce very small holes so the bat can breathe. Do no free the bat into the wild; instead immediately call your local health office so experts can test the bat for rabies. Make sure you wear thick work gloves, a long sleeve shirt and pants. Also close all your windows and doors so the bat cannot fly away.

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