Rabies Vector Species (RVS):

 

Rabies vector species (RVS) are those wild animals that are at greater risk to contract the rabies virus. Those species are: bats, coyotes, fox, groundhog, raccoon and skunk. Do not touch any of these animals, whether they are a young animal or an adult; or whether they look normal or sick. They could be carriers of the rabies virus and never show symptoms. You could be putting yourself and your family at risk. Any exposure to humans will mean that the animal will need to be put down in order to be tested for the rabies virus. 

  • If you are bitten by any one of the animals listed above contact your state Department of Health as soon as possible.
  • W.I.N Emergency Response of PA. will respond to calls regarding RVS if there is a volunteer available that has been vaccinated against rabies exposure.
  • Adult coyotes, fox, groundhog, raccoon and skunk can be very dangerous. Do not approach. Call a wildlife rehabilitation center that is certified in RVS for further instruction, or the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

To contain orphaned young RVS species, prepare a box by poking holes in the sides for ventilation, or use a small dog or cat carrier. Place close knit and soft material in the bottom. Wear thick gloves, and use a towel to cover the babies, wrapping the towel around each baby separately and placing them in the box or carrier. Secure the lid on the box, and close the carrier door. Cover the carrier with a towel. Take the container with the animal and place it in a dark, warm, quiet and undisturbed place. Call a wildlife rehabilitation center that is certified in RVS for further instruction, or the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Rabies Vector Species (RVS):

Bats:

 

Bat pups are born in July and August. They are furred and much smaller than an adult. At this age they are not able to fly. Sometimes they fall onto building floors, or from trees if there is a storm resulting in their demise. If one is found on the ground or floor, call a wildlife rehabilitation center that is RVS certified for further instruction. Do not handle them with your bare hands.

Adult bats sometimes find themselves stranded in your home. They can be directed outside at night by turning on an outside light, turning off all the lights in the house and leaving the door closest to the light open. The bat will be attracted to bugs that are swarming around the light, and will leave the house

Coyotes:

 

It is rare to find an injured or sick coyote that is able to be contained and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

However, it may be even rarer to have a coyote approach humans.  However, if this were to happen have adults, children and pets go inside and call the Pennsylvania Game Commission immediately

Fox:

 

Young fox, kit, may be found playing around their dens. Please watch them from a distance. Both parents tend to the needs of the young. If the young are coming out of the den, crying, looking thin, sickly and weak then something has happened to the parents. Or if one is found alone, in a field or alongside a road, then there is a problem and they need help.

Call a wildlife rehabilitation center that is certified in RVS for further instruction, or the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Rabies Vector Species (RVS) Continued:

Groundhog (Woodchuck):

 It is uncommon to find an orphaned baby woodchuck. However, if the mother was killed they may wonder out of their burrow because they are hungry. Every so often one may be found attempting to nurse from their dead mother that has been killed on the road. Do not handle without wearing gloves.  

Skunk:

 Baby skunks that are seen without a mother during the day are orphaned.Sometimes the babies will attempt to nurse from their dead mother that has been killed on the road. Do not handle without wearing gloves. Sometimes when they are old enough to take walks with their mother they may become separated.

Raccoon:

 Baby raccoons will sometimes climb out of a cavity of a tree to discover their new world, or are hungry and will try to look for food. This often times will happen during the day. The mother will stay away until night time. Watch from a distance.
  • If the babies are falling out of the tree, are small and barely have their eyes opened, then something has happened to their mother.
  • If there is a dead mother on the road, and the young are staying close by, then they are orphaned and are in need of help. 
  • If the young look healthy, but are too young to walk far on their own, they can be covered with a laundry basket, and a weight put on top, so the young cannot topple the basket. Do this at dusk. Check the basket in the morning. If the babies are gone, the mother retrieved them.
  • If the babies are still there, call a wildlife rehabilitation center that is certified in RVS for further instruction, or the Pennsylvania Game Commission.