"There are certain species that are more likely to get the disease," Wildlife Management Supervisor Roger Coup of the Pennsylvania Game Commission said.
Those are called vector species.
"Raccoons, skunks and foxes, are probably the top three on the list," he
said."Groundhogs.And of course bats are on the list.
But, "any mammal is capable of getting the disease," Coup
In terms of calls about rabies, this summer has been an unusually busy one for the commission.Coup
said many of the calls have been from people who have found baby animals in their yards."We had a tremendous number of calls this year," he
said."Mostly, people are finding baby raccoons in their yards."
When the mother doesn't return, people sometimes try to help.That often involves picking the babies up and moving them.
But people can't do much to help baby animals and frequently do more harm than good, Coup
"You're not doing wildlife any good by picking it up and trying to help," Coup
said."Let nature take its course."
And there are dangers for people who handle wildlife - whether the animal is newborn or full-grown.
"They end up getting bitten or scratched," Coup
said of many people who handle wild creatures.
said."The animal could just look extremely ill."
But there aren't always familiar clues, or any at all.
"Foaming at the mouth doesn't occur all the time," Coup
said."Often, you wouldn't see any symptoms."
recommends a respectful caution.
"You can observe wildlife at a distance," he
said."But respect them, respect their space."
"If you see a wild animal, leave it alone," Coup
The animals will typically do the same for people, he
If they don't, or for any other reason people and wild animals come in close contact, Coup
suggests calling experts.
"Contact the game commission or local authorities to look into it," he