Boy Scouts pull rabid bat from river

Boy Scouts pull rabid bat from river

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Some Boy Scouts plucked a bat from the river a few miles north of town Friday.

"You know, it was a bat in the water and they felt some compassion for it and wanted to save it," said Gordon Brown with Benton County.

After the Scouts picked up the rabid bat in the river, they brought it to their Scout leaders, who put it into a secure container. They handed the animal off to the sheriff's office right at Hyak Park.

From there, it was shipped off to a state lab for testing.

The results: positive for rabies.

"It's endemic in the bat population," explained Brown, who works in the county's environmental health division. "Probably 1 percent or less of the entire bat population carries rabies."

Brown told KVAL News that the Scouts who handled the bat might have been exposed to rabies. The boys are being evaluated for anti-rabies vaccines.

In other words: don't touch bats.

And if you do?

"If they have contact with that bat, they should try to capture it and we'll help them determine whether or not we should test it," Brown said. "A coffee can is a good container."

He also recommends using heavy gloves and cardboard - and leaving the bat-catching to adults.