September 24, 2019

State of Alabama
Press Release: Public Health, Alabama Department of

People rescuing raccoon need medical attention; public reminded to leave wildlife alone

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Dee W. Jones, DVM
1-800-338-8374

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is issuing a notice of a rabid raccoon that may have exposed people recently in Enterprise, Ala. The sickly raccoon was taken to the Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary. According the sanctuary owners, the raccoon was found on the road nearby by two individuals traveling through the area. The unknown individuals left the raccoon with a volunteer at the sanctuary without leaving any additional contact the information. The raccoon subsequently died, and testing has confirmed that the raccoon had rabies. If anyone has knowledge or information about any person who may have had contact with this raccoon, please contact the ADPH at 1-800-338-8374.

According to Dr. Dee W. Jones, the ADPH State Public Health Veterinarian, this highlights the importance of good record-keeping and the importance of informing the public to leave wildlife alone. "We really don't have any information about how to contact the individuals; we don't know if they were local or traveling through. A situation like this makes it very difficult for us to make contact with people to provide them medical advice for their protection. A scratch or bite from a rabid animal is very dangerous, and we go to great lengths to notify anyone with any exposure a rabid animal."

Conservation Outreach Specialist Marianne Hudson, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ACNR), said, “The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division would like to remind the public that possession of live wildlife without a permit is illegal, and violators are subject to ticketing and fines. Leaving found wildlife alone is in the best interest of public safety and is also the best course of action for wildlife populations as a whole.”

Fatal diseases such as rabies can be transmitted to well-meaning humans, and other wildlife diseases are spread when animals are picked up and transported to other locations. If one sees an animal in need of assistance, leave the animal alone and call the nearest ACNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Office to report the issue.

The ACNR website is www.outdooralabama.com and the specific page for contacting district offices is https://www.outdooralabama.com/wildlife-section. People who have found wildlife may call (334) 242-1814.

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9/24/19



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