Just when you thought “rabid bat” season was over, two more showed up in the Santa Clarita Valley in time for Halloween.
After a lull in September, in October a Santa Clarita resident spotted a bat hanging from an eave of his or her home, and then lying on the ground. Later in the month in Newhall, a bat was found alive inside a home. Both were determined to have rabies.
They were the last two of 33 rabid bats identified in Los Angeles County so far in 2013. Of those 33, fourteen, or 42 percent, were found in the Santa Clarita Valley – even though the SCV sports just 3 percent of the human population.
Something is out of whack, and L.A. County Health Department officials are at loss to explain it. Nor can they explain why it’s been this way for the past four years, or why rabies cases are on the rise. Up to now, a “normal” year sees just 8 to 12 cases countywide, and they’ve been keeping track since the 1960s.
Bats are the most common carriers, but that’s not to say bats tend to have rabies. In fact, fewer than 1 percent of all bats do.
But if you see a bat flying around during the daytime, or hanging around the dog dish, or pestering the kids, or lying dead on the ground, it’s a pretty good indicator it has a health problem. Call Animal Control and report it.
And be sure to vaccinate the family pets; otherwise Fido or Fifi could be subject to a 6-month quarantine if he or she has been exposed.
Click to enlarge
L.A. County’s Rabid Bats, 2013
1. Los Angeles. March. Sick bat on sidewalk. Sniffed, but not touched, by two leashed dogs.
2. Lancaster. March. Bat flew around outside home in daylight, settled onto the side of a house.
3. Los Angeles. April. Bat flew into a garbage can at a school, then crawled underneath it.
4. Bell Gardens. April. Bat found alive clinging to a wall in the middle of the afternoon.
5. Canoga Park. May. Bat found in the afternoon on sidewalk outside of a store.
6. Stevenson Ranch. May. Found dead outdoors.
7. Santa Clarita. May. Live bat found outdoors.
8. Santa Clarita. June. Found dead in a backyard.
9. Palmdale. June. Found dead in a backyard.
10. Calabasas. July. Found in a home where four people and two cats were staying.
11. Porter Ranch. July. Bat found on ground at a church.
12. Saugus. July. Dog carrying bat around in its mouth.
13. Los Angeles. July. Bat found on a front porch floor.
14. Malibu. July. Bat found alive around on ground in a park.
15. Santa Clarita. July. Bat found weak but alive in a driveway outside a home.
16. Santa Clarita. July. Bat found weak but alive in a driveway outside a home (same place as bat #15).
17. Unincorporated area of Pasadena. July. Bat found alive outside a home.
18. Santa Clarita. August. Found alive in driveway. Covered with a bucket and Animal Control contacted.
19. Altadena. August. Bat found alive outdoors.
20. Covina. August. Bat found dead on a balcony.
21. Santa Clarita. August. Bat found clinging to side of garage.
22. Santa Clarita. August. Bat found dead next to pool.
23. Chatsworth. August. Bat found alive at a home.
24. Canyon Country. August. Bat found dead outdoors.
25. Valencia. August. Bat found alive at a home.
26. Northridge. August. Bat found under a tree in backyard, hissed as resident approached. Feral cats visit backyard also.
27. Canyon Country. August. Bat found dead on a back patio. Cat may have played with it, placed under 30-day home quarantine.
28. Woodland Hills. August. Bat found alive in a driveway, hissed when approached.
29. Agoura Hills. August. Bat found alive in a garage, sitting on chair. Cat may have come into contact with it.
30. Tarzana. September. Bat found alive at a home.
31. West Hollywood. September. Bat found in backyard and picked up by puppy.
32. Santa Clarita. October. Bat seen hanging from eave of home, and later lying on ground.
33. Newhall. October. Bat found alive inside a home.