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Bat tests positive for rabies in Grand Canyon for first time since 2020

NPS/J. Baird
Lees Ferry on the Colorado River is the starting point for river trips through Grand Canyon National Park. Officials say a bat has tested positive for rabies along the river. It's the first such positive test since 2020.

Grand Canyon National Park biologists have confirmed that a bat found along the Colorado River earlier this month has tested positive for rabies.

Interactions between humans and bats increase in the summer months in the park and it’s the 8th such encounter reported there this year.

Wildlife managers urge anyone who’s had physical contact with a bat to seek medical treatment.

Humans often contract rabies through an animal’s saliva following a bite or scratch.

It can kill humans and animals but is preventable with medical treatment.

Infected animals can be aggressive without fear of humans and officials say people should never approach or touch wildlife and make sure pets are vaccinated and kept on leashes.

They also say those on river trips should sleep in tents for protection.

The last known bat to test positive for rabies in the Grand Canyon was in 2020.