Alameda County health officials issued a warning Tuesday for Oakland residents to be on the lookout for rabid animals in the area near the Oakland Zoo after a teenage girl volunteer was bitten by a wild Mexican free-tailed bat that tested positive for rabies.
Although the bat was found at the zoo, it was not part of any exhibit and it is the third rabid bat to turn up in the East Bay in the past month or so. The other two were found in San Lorenzo and Pleasanton. As such, health officials are warning residents near the zoo to be extra vigilant if they spot any animals acting strangely in the neighborhood. The local bats aren't usually a problem in Oakland — they keep the insect and mosquito populations in check — but they could pose an additional threat to curious pets.
Anyone who spots an animal "roaming, staggering or otherwise acting in a strange way" should call Vector Control and Oakland Animal Services at (510) 535-5603.
Although rabies is "almost always" fatal according to one official from the Alameda County Environmental Health Department, the girl started treatment and is expected to be fine.