Health officials: Wild bat found at Oklahoma City Zoo was rabid

OKLAHOMA CITY – Health officials say they are looking for anyone who had contact with a wild bat that was found at the Oklahoma City Zoo earlier this month.

Officials say the bat was not part of the zoo, and was found on the ground along a path between the Great EscApe habitat and Big Rivers Cafe around 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1.

Oklahoma City Zoo

The bat was taken to the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory for testing. Officials say those test results revealed that the bat was rabid.

Public health officials are warning anyone who may have touched the bat or was bitten by the bat on Oct. 1, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., to contact the health department’s epidemiologist at (405) 271-4060.

Authorities say they believe that only a few zoo visitors encountered the bat, but say a rabies exposure assessment must be done on anyone who had physical contact with the animal.

However, experts say there is no risk of rabies exposure to a person who was just in the general vicinity of the zoo grounds.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. The virus is usually transmitted through a bite from a rabid animal.