LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas health officials said a wild bat that was captured at the Little Rock Zoo has tested positive for rabies.
Officials with the Arkansas Department of Health said the zoo received a report of a wild bat flying on its ground Saturday Sept. 23. Health officials said that staff at the zoo noticed unusual behavior by the bat and alerted the zoo veterinary staff. One of the veterinarians, who was dressed in appropriate protective equipment, euthanized it.
Health officials said the bat tested positive for rabies during an inspection at the ADH Glen F. Baker Public Health Laboratory.
The bat was not a part of the zoo’s collection, and officials said there was no known exposure to the zoo’s animal collection.
There have not been any reports on if the bat came in contact with anyone, but ADH officials are asking people who may have come across the bat to contact the state’s health department.
Health officials said that bats can pose a risk threat when they are in close contact with humans. A very small percentage of bats are infected with rabies, which is a deadly disease that can be transmitted through a bite from an infected animal, officials said.
ADH officials said that there is no treatment or cure for the disease once symptoms start, so it is important to seek medical assistance in a timely manner.