Greenwood Village, CO

Be careful of wild animals, they may be adorable but also dangerous

Stephanie Graham

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO - Almost everyone who sees baby animals will say that they are adorable, but behind that, there is the fact that they may harbour infectious diseases such as rabies. They can also have a parent that is protective and aggressive.

To prevent dangerous incidents, the simplest way is to provide education, especially to children, not to touch or feed wild animals. Not only in parks but sometimes wild animals can be around the home environment.

We know that baby birds often fall on the ground to learn to fly, and usually, we try to help, but it's not necessary. Rabbits are also susceptible to the bacterium Francisella tularensis or tularemia disease and often die in large numbers. That is why parents should be careful when their children are near animals.

“Most wild animals try to avoid human contact, so if an animal lets you get close or pick it up, it is probably unhealthy or dangerous,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.

Other wild animals that often carry dangerous viruses, especially in Colorado, are bats, raccoons, foxes and skunks. They usually have the rabies virus. Rabies is transmitted through their saliva and bites. One should be careful when encountering any of the above animals during the day. The animals tend to be confused, not afraid of humans and weak.

Those who know that animals or humans have rabies can report to the Tri-County Health Department at 303-220-9200, specifically for Adams, Arapahoe or Douglas County. For wildlife, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192, which is open 24 hours. Learn more about other diseases here

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