A Maplewood resident found a bat in on Monday morning and alerted the township Health Department, who captured the bat and turned it into the New Jersey State Health Department. The bat was tested in a lab and found to have rabies.
"We occasionally find rabid bats in homes, but this is the first time we have found one in a park," said Maplewood Health Director Robert Roe, who noted that a very small percentage of bats are found to be rabid. For more information, check the alert on the township website.
The bat was discovered hanging in a tree next to the blacktop walkway that runs from the Civic House to Oakview Avenue, on the east side of the brook.
Roe said that if residents find a bat in their home, or one that is "acting abnormally" outdoors, they should not touch it and should call the health department at 973-762-8120 x4400 or Animal Control, ext. 4200. (During evening or weekends, contact the Police Dept.) Pets should have current rabies vaccinations.