Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

Rabies warning: Watch for signs


Last updated 6/17/2020 at 1:13pm

G. Connor Salter

This raccoon may look friendly, but that's only because raccoons are nocturnal and this photo was taken during the day. When roaming free at night, raccoons can attack smaller animals, damage property and infect people or other animals with various diseases. Linda Marsh, a Fountain resident, found this raccoon in her humane trap on June 1. This is the third raccoon she's found in the trap in the last few weeks. She noted this raccoon was more docile than the previous one she caught. "The size of these things just astounds me," Marsh commented. She consulted several Department of Wildlife (DOW) employees, including her son who works as a game warden, about what to do with the raccoons. They told Marsh she was permitted to use the trap as long as she releases any animals she catches within 24 hours. Marsh plans to release this raccoon in a space away from houses or any other human habitation with a water source nearby, just as she did with the previous two raccoons. Marsh works as a veterinary technician and says she saw no evidence that the three raccoons she's caught have rabies, but it's always a possibility.

Several incidents of rabies recently are prompting officials to warn the public about the signs of this dangerous virus.

"Rabies is much more common in the summer months," said Dr. Robin Johnson, El Paso County Public Health Medical Director. "It's critical to remember not to touch, feed or take care of wildlife, as they have the potential to carry rabies."

Earlier this month El Paso County Public Health reported that a bat was confirmed to have rabies, making it the first bat to test positive for the disease in the county this year.

Last week Public Health was notified that a baby raccoon...

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