An injured bat found in Altadena on August 18 tested positive for rabies, county officials said Friday. It is among the 42 rabid bats discovered so far this year in Los Angeles County, according to the county Public Health website. The department noted that it is the highest number detected in the county in one year since testing of bats began in 1961. The previous record was in 2011 when 38 rabid bats were found. County health officials don't know what led to the increase.
Animal control got a call about an injured bat in the 1000 block of Alpine Villa Drive in Altadena at 2:32 p.m. August 18. Aaron Reyes, deputy director for the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control, said the bat was alive when an animal control officer picked it up. "As a matter of standard protocol, we humanely euthanized the bat and sent it over to the health department for testing. It came back positive for rabies," he said.
Reyes said bats are a vital part of the ecosystem, but unfortunately also high rabies suspects. "Bats get sick or injured and generally can be found at ground level, in our yards, where our pets and children play."
He said residents who find an injured or dead bat should never touch it but call animal control.