- BPHC -
BOSTON - A bat found Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Franklin Park Zoo has tested positive for rabies, and
the Boston Public Health Commission is reminding residents to steer clear of stray and wild animals
that may carry rabies.
The bat was discovered on the ground near the Flight Cage, off Pierpont Road. It was not part of the
zoo’s animal collection and was sent to the Dr. William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute for testing.
The bat was disoriented and out during the middle of the day, which is unusual. Results confirmed that
the bat had rabies. Public health officials advise anyone who may have come in contact with this bat to
contact their health care provider for an evaluation.
Rabies is very serious illness affecting a person’s central nervous system. A rare illness caused by a
virus, rabies spread to animals or people through the saliva of infected animals. This usually occurs
after a bite or scratch from an animal with the disease. Any mammal can get rabies, but it is more
commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, and cats.
People should never touch, feed, or take care of wild animals, such as bats. They should avoid any
animal that is acting strange or sick. They should not keep wild animals as pets, touch, or pick up any
dead animal. They should not attract wild animals to their homes by feeding pets outside or leaving
litter or garbage cans open. They should also be sure that their own pet is up-to-date with their rabies
To prevent bats from getting in your home, cover up holes in roofs or other open areas. If you wake up
with a bat in your room, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible since bat bites are mild
and often go unnoticed.
For more information about rabies, contact the Boston Public Health Commission’s Infectious Disease
Bureau at 617-534-5611.