NYC warns about possible rabid squirrel after 5 bitten


Though squirrels rarely have rabies, city health officials are assuming this one does.

And while the Park's Department's head honcho said the bushy-tailed mammal's behavior was atypical, the animal's bellicosity prompted him to remind meadow visitors to avoid critters.

Parks Department staff and the Prospect Park Alliance are continuing to monitor the park for the squirrel and any other animals that it may have bitten and infected.

On Friday, city health officials revealed that five people reported squirrel bites in Prospect Park near the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance between July 18 and July 20, leading them to believe there was a rabid squirrel on the loose, "based on the unusual aggressive behavior".

The squirrel has not been found, but if it was infected, it is probably already dead, according to the New York Post.

"It's quite a scene to see an animal die of rabies", said Dr. Amy Ford of the Veterinary Wellness Center of Boerum Hill.

The city says anyone bitten by the squirrel, or any pets with squirrel bites, should immediately get medical treatment.


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Christopher Williams, who visits the park often, said he's not totally surprised. "There is still wildlife out here".

The Parks Department and the Prospect Park Alliance are on the look-out for the pugnacious rodent.

Elizabeth Mangum, a mother of two, said her guard is always up.

Her father explained that after he heard his daughter scream, he was able to pry the squirrel's jaw open and threw it onto the sidewalk. "They come up to the picnic tables".

Officials are also urging residents to not feed the seemingly-cute creatures.

'Most squirrel bites occur when someone attempts to feed the animal.