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Community must be cautious of rabid wildlife

Special to SEGAZINE

From the Brunswick News

Watch out, Glynn County. Another fox – the second this month – has scratched or bitten a resident of the Golden Isles.

Officials with the Coastal Health District suspect the animals were rabid, carriers of rabies. They’re warning residents to stay clear of wildlife, which people should automatically do anyway. We are talking about “wild life,” after all, not domestic animals.

This caution extends to all animal species, including raccoons. Do not approach. Back slowly away from them, if safe to do so, and leave the area as soon as possible.

Rabies is serious business, though it’s been a while, at least as far as the public knows or has been told, that rabies has been an issue here on the coast. Knock on wood, this community has been lucky in that regard, unlike other counties to the north of us, where the disease has cropped up in other animals.

Parents, remind your children of the risks involved when taking such warnings lightly. The treatment for being bitten by a wild animal is painful. And treatment is recommended, particularly if the animal escapes, just to be on the safe side.

Residents who keep dogs and cats outside also should consider the potential risk their animals are exposed to, especially in areas by marsh or woods, areas frequented by wildlife scrounging for food or water. They inadvertently may be exposing themselves, loved ones and neighbors to needless danger should their animal come in contact with a rabid animal and contract the disease.

Even residents who keep animals indoors, dogs or cats that occasionally go outside, should make sure rabies shots are up to date.

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