Pima County Health Department officials said test results indicated that an aggressive skunk found Jan. 12 in the Proctor parking lot in Madera Canyon had rabies.
The skunk acted aggressively in an area visited by some park goers, the county said on its website. Park officials are unsure how many days the skunk was in the area or how many people or pets may have come in contact with the animal.
Park visitors who had contact with the skunk, or pets owners whose pets may have had contact with the skunk, on Jan.12 are being asked to contact the Pima County Health Department at 520-724-7797.
“It’s important to stay away from wild animals that appear unafraid of people or are acting unusual,” Francisco Garcia, director of the Pima County Health Department, said in the release. “This is especially important when folks are hiking or visiting one of our many local or state parks.”
Skunks can be carriers of rabies, which is caused by a virus. People and animals can contract rabies through bites or being scratched by an infected animal and the symptoms may not show up for weeks or even years. Rabies can be a series condition for both people and animals. All pet mammals should be vaccinated for rabies, even if they never leave the house.
If you see a skunk acting in an unusual manner, such as being out during the day, appearing unbalanced or acting aggressively, call the Pima Animal Care Center at 520-724-5900.