A bat collected last Thursday in downtown Hot Springs tested positive for rabies by the state lab, bringing Garland County’s total number of confirmed animal rabies cases so far this year to 24. An employee at one of the shops in the 100 block of Central Avenue, while sitting on a bench outside the shop, noticed something in the icicle lights hanging on the shop’s exterior, assumed it was a leaf and didn’t think further about it. The next day, the employee and the owner both noticed the same thing in the same location. Realizing it was a bat, they called Animal Services, who determined it was alive only when the bat reacted to being handled with tongs. There was no human exposure.
Pet owners are reminded to vaccinate all dogs and cats at least four months old against rabies. To report any unusual daytime activity by nocturnal creatures such as skunks or bats, contact Animal Services at 262-2091 in Hot Springs and Animal Control at 922-6547 in Hot Springs Village.