The City of Fort Worth is warning people to stay away from wild animals after control officers captured a skunk that tested positive for rabies.
Animal control officers captured the animal after it was sighted Friday by a resident in the area near Golden Triangle Boulevard and Harmond Road in Far North Fort Worth. The resident told the city that the animal appeared to be "acting strange," a news release said.
A test sample came back positive for rabies, which is a dangerous virus that can be transmitted through the saliva of infected mammals.
Anyone can become infected if they handle bats or get bitten by an animal that has the disease. Coming in contact with the smell of the exposed skunk will not cause humans to contract rabies, the city said.
The city wants people to keep the following reminders in mind.
- Do not approach or attempt to handle any free-roaming, unfamiliar animals, including domestic pets, behaving in an unusual manner. Instead, contact the city's call center at 817-392-1234 to report an incident.
- Keep vaccinations updated for all dogs, cats and other domestic pets. This requirement is important not only to keep pets from getting rabies, but also to provide a barrier of protection to humans if an animal is bitten by a rabid animal.
- Consider picking up before nightfall any dog or cat food and birdseed left outside.
Rabies and other pet vaccinations are available 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday at the Chuck Silcox Animal Shelter located in the 4900 block of Martin Street. Vaccination fees range from $5 for rabies to $25 for all vaccinations.