Rabid bat found in Elgin
From Staff Reports August 30, 2013 3:56PM
Updated: October 2, 2013 6:36AM
ELGIN — A bat found in a parking lot Thursday at One American Way — on Elgin’s far east side — tested positive for rabies, officials said Friday.
An employee at the Renz Center discovered the bat in the lot and took it inside, a spokesperson there said. Cook County Animal Control was called and removed the bat, officials said. It was tested by the Illinois State Police Public Health Laboratory for rabies. On Friday morning, Cook County staff was notified that the bat did in fact test positive for rabies and have passed out flyers to the immediate area warning of the danger.
As of this time, there have been no reports of direct human exposure with the bat, Elgin officials said.
“If you should locate a bat, especially within the living area of your residence, do not attempt to capture or kill it. Please contact the Elgin Police Department at (847) 289-2700 and inform the dispatcher where the bat is located and an officer will respond,” according to a release Friday afternoon from the Elgin police.
“The Elgin Police Department would like to remind you that you should keep your pets on a leash when outside your residence and ensure that they are up to date on all vaccines, including rabies. Please also remember to keep your window screens intact and closed to minimize the risk of animals such of bats getting inside your residence,” the release stated.
Rabid bats have been reported this month, according to media sources, in Tinley Park, Batavia and McHenry County.
The Batavia bat, tested on Aug. 14, was the first rabies-positive bat in Kane County this year, said Tom Schlueter of the Kane County Health Department. One was discovered last year, and one in 2011.
Bats, according to the Kane County Health website “are the most common carrier of rabies in Illinois. Rabies affects the brain and will cause unnatural behavior in mammals. Children especially should be reminded to avoid contact with wild animals that are acting unusual, such as a bat that is outside in the day time or one that cannot fly.”
This is the first rabid bat found in Elgin this year, said James Rog, animal control officer with the Elgin Police Department. In his nearly 10 years as the animal control officer, he’s seen four cases of rabies — all in bats, he said.
“I don’t feel this is a mass epidemic, but that this is a notice — be cognizant when handling any kind of wild animal,” Rog said.
Bats are wildlife, and the Elgin police get numerous wildlife calls. “Leave the animal alone and call someone trained to handle them. We will respond to all calls, assess the situation and take the appropriate actions,” Rog said.
Many of the nuisance wildlife calls come because residents are feeding them — either through bird feeders or leaving out food for feral cats, Rog said.
One bird feeder is fine, he said. But a yard with five full feeders will also attract skunks, raccoons, possums and even coyotes, Rog said.