Nature continued its war on humankind this month, as the New York City Department of Health warned that a potentially rabid squirrel was reported to have been biting people in Prospect Park this month.
According to the Department of Health, five different people have reported being bitten by a squirrel near the Parkside Avenue and Ocean Avenue entrance of Prospect Park between July 18th and July 20th. Officials from the DOH are urging any New Yorkers who have been attacked by a squirrel in the park since July 10th to get treatment for rabies immediately.
While the Health Department can't say for sure that the squirrel in question is rabid, and noted that this would be the first rabid squirrel found in New York State since rabies monitoring began in 1992, the department is working under that impression the animal is rabid "based on the unusual aggressive behavior." However, the Health Department also said that if the squirrel did in fact have rabies, it's most likely dead by now.
Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett used the situation to remind New Yorkers to "keep a safe distance from wildlife and never feed wild animals," no matter how cute you think they are.