Wild animals are just that - wild - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wild animals are just that - wild


IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants the public to use common sense when encountering wildlife.

A highly unusual case of a squirrel testing positive for rabies this week is a reminder that animals can also pose a health risk. 

"We usually remind people in the spring when young animals are found seemingly helpless that people should stay away and not intervene because the mother is likely hiding nearby until the coast is clear.  That advice is relevant all year - use common sense and keep your distance," said Dale Garner, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau. 

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, there have been 24 reports of wildlife, domestic animals and livestock testing positive for rabies this year.  Following these simple recommendations in respect to wildlife may decrease your chances of coming in contact with a rabid animal.   

  • Do not feed or handle wild or stray animals. Avoid sick animals or those that act strangely.
  • Do not touch or handle dead animals.
  • Cover garbage cans and keep pet food indoors, so not to attract wild animals.
  • Do not keep wild animals as pets, which is often illegal as well as dangerous.
  • Never handle bats. A bat bite or scratch may be small and go unnoticed. People who awaken to find a bat in the room or children awake or asleep with a bat in a room should consult their healthcare provider as they may require rabies treatment.

When people encounter young or injured animals the first instinct is to help; however, this is not in the best interest of the animal or the person. 



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