Bat found near Madison park bathrooms tests positive for rabies


MADISON, Wis. — Public health officials say they’ve found a rabid bat at a Madison park.

Public Health Madison & Dane County says the bat was found near the restrooms along Lakeland Avenue in Olbrich Park on Wednesday. A park ranger was sent to the park after getting a report of the bat, and the bat was sent to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene for testing, which confirmed the bat had rabies.

Public health officials says reporting bat sightings during the day can be “a matter of life and death.”

“The quicker we know about the presence of a bat, the quicker we can get the animal tested and prevent exposure as much as possible, especially in such a heavily-traveled area,” Environmental Health Supervisor John Hausbeck said.

Rabies can be deadly in humans, and it may not always be easy to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bat.

“Bats have very small teeth, which leave small marks that go away quickly. This makes it hard to know for sure whether it bit you at all,” Hausbeck said.

PHMDC says this is the fourth bat to test positive for rabies in Wisconsin and the second in Dane County. Last year, Dane County saw a total of seven bats test positive for rabies.

If you come across a bat in your home or in an area where contact with people or pets is likely, you’re asked to call Police and Fire Dispatch at (608) 255-2345 and ask for an Animal Services Officer to come pick up the bat.