State warns Illinois residents about rabid animals

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) at the roost.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois residents are being warned to beware of rabid animals after more than two dozen rabid bats have been reported in the state this year.

In a news release, the Illinois Department of Public Health is offering tips on what to do to minimize their chances of being bitten by a rabid animal and what to do when they come across bats and other animals that carry the virus.

The department says people should not bring wild animals into their home and if they see injured or sick animals contact an animal control agency rather than care for the animals themselves. And anyone who finds a bat in their home should contact animal control or public health officials before releasing them.

For more information, visit the department’s web site, http://www.dph.illinois.gov .