Rabid bats found along river in Grand Canyon National Park

( Grand Canyon NPS )

Grand Canyon National Park officials say two dead bats found along the Colorado River inside the park tested positive for rabies.

A statement released Thursday by park officials said the bats were deceased when collected last month and that the bats didn’t come into contact with visitors or park staff.

Rabies can be fatal but is preventable if medical treatment is given after exposure to a rabid animal and before the development of symptoms.

Humans can contract rabies through contact with an infected animal’s saliva, such as a bite or scratch.

All mammals are susceptible to rabies and park officials advise visitors to not approach or wildlife.

Statement from the National Park Service - Grand Canyon:

Grand Canyon National Park would like to remind visitors about the following things they can do to protect themselves from rabies: 

  • Never approach or touch wildlife. Please observe and appreciate wildlife from a safe distance. If you see sick or erratic behaving wildlife, notify a park employee or call the park's 24-hour emergency communications center at 928-638-7805.    
  • In areas where pets are allowed, make sure that pets are vaccinated and kept on a leash at all times.  
  • Teach children to tell you if they are bitten or scratched by an animal.   
  • Anyone who has had contact with a bat or other wild animal in the park should notify a park employee as soon as possible.  You should consult with your doctor in the event you have contacted an animal thought to be rabid.   
  • While on a river trip take extra precaution and sleep in a tent for protection.

Signs and symptoms of rabies
https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/symptoms/index.html

Rabies prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/prevention/index.html