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Rabies-positive raccoon found in Niagara County

ROYALTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — A dead raccoon found in eastern Niagara County was found to have been carrying rabies.

The Niagara County Department of Health says the animal’s body was collected on Griswold Street in the Town of Royalton. Listed by officials as roadkill, the raccoon was reported positive for rabies this past Thursday.

Health officials don’t know of any contact it may have had with humans or pets.

As part of statewide surveillance, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division regularly tests dead animals for rabies.

“Bats, raccoons, skunks, and fox are all common wildlife carriers of the rabies virus,” the Niagara County Department of Health said. “It is possible that a rabid animal can shed (share) the virus by direct contact before symptoms appear visible.”

Health officials are warning people never to feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or feral cats. They also advise people to make sure their own animals are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

A free rabies clinic will be happening at the Town of Lockport Highway Garage (6560 Dysinger Road) this Saturday (September 17) from 9 a.m. to Noon. Find information on registering for the clinic (which is required) here.

Animal bites and other contacts with wild animals can be reported to the Department of Health’s Environmental Division by calling (716) 439-7444.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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