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Death Valley rangers remind public to not interact with wildlife following rabid bat bite

Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia Commons

Death Valley National Park rangers on Wednesday warned the public not to touch or feed wildlife after two recent incidents.

On April 28, a concession employee was bit by a rabid bat, officials said. The bat was sitting in top of a garbage can outside the Stovepipe Wells general store when the employee moved it, but it bit through her nitrile glove.

On May 2, the bat was confirmed to have rabies, and the woman was being treated for rabies exposure.

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If you believe you have interacted with this bad, officials urge you to contact the Inyo County Health Department at 760-873-7868.

"Bats are an important part of the ecosystem," officials said in a news release. "At least nine species of insect-eating bats live in Death Valley National Park. Typically, less than 1% of bats have rabies. Bats—and all other native wildlife—are protected within the park."

A week prior, a coyote was hit by a car on CA-190 near Badwater Road. It wasn't known if the coyote survived after limping away.

"Habituated coyotes have learned that they can stop traffic by walking in front of moving vehicles," officials said.

Officials said to never feed, touch, approach or pick up a wild animal. If you see an animal acting abnormal, alert a park employee. Where pets are allowed, make sure they are vaccinated and kept on a leash.

Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the audience engagement specialist for Nevada Public Radio. She curates and creates content for, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.