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Bat found in Santa Barbara Zoo tests positive for rabies

Posted at 10:38 AM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 13:46:02-04

Santa Barbara County Health officials confirm a bat found in the Zoo’s giraffe barn tested positive for rabies on May 17, and that the public is not at risk.

Zoo officials say they will close the giraffe feeding deck for 30 days as a precautionary measure based on Public Health’s recommendation, however, the giraffes will still remain on exhibit during the quarantine.

The Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Care and Health says, “We have enforced all safety protocols, including making sure rabies immunizations for all of our mammals are up to date. As the giraffes will be quarantined for 30 days, only vaccinated staff will be working with them during that time.”

This comes nearly a month after a woman in Santa Barbara found a bat that tested positive for rabies.

Health officials announced in April that they were searching for a woman, who still has not been found, that approached two men and asked them to take the box containing the bat to animal services. They say it was an isolated incident and the public is not at risk.

The Health Department is reminding the public to be aware of wild animals and if you see a dead bat to call Animal Control at (805) 681-5285.

For further updates on the bat found at the zoo, visit this website.