Grand Canyon urges visitors to stay away from bats

By: The Associated Press
July 24, 2014 Updated: July 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — Grand Canyon officials are encouraging visitors who came into contact with rabid bats at the national park to seek medical care.

One bat crawled on a woman for 10 minutes in front of the Tusayan Museum on July 16, drawing an afternoon crowd. The woman's identity is unknown.

Another bat was found dead about 4.5 miles up from Phantom Ranch on the North Kaibab Trail on July 12.

Both bats later tested positive for rabies, which can be deadly in humans if left untreated.

Health officials say rabies can be transmitted to humans through bat saliva, a scratch or a bite.

Grand Canyon spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge says rabid bats lose their fear of humans. She says visitors should stay away from the winged animals that normally are active at night.

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