The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

The Buzz

Department of Public Health Issues Warning After 17 Rabid Bats Found in Illinois

(Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock)

Now that summer is in full swing and a number of bats in the state have tested positive for rabies, the Illinois Department of Public Health is issuing a warning to help raise awareness.

To date, six rabid bats have been found in Will County, the latest of which was discovered in the mouth of a cat in Lockport. Cook County ranks No. 2 with a reported total of five rabid bats.

“People can receive preventive treatment if they are exposed to an animal infected with rabies,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D. said in a statement. “Although most bats are not infected with rabies, it’s important to avoid handling bats, get and keep your pets vaccinated, and make sure your home has no openings where bats can come in.”

While many people associate rabies with bats, only a small percentage of them are afflicted. According to the IDPH, each year anywhere from 1,300 to 1,700 bats suspected of being rabid are submitted for testing annually and only around 3 percent of those tests come back positive.


Signs of an animal having rabies include a general appearance of sickness or a change in the animal's normal behavior patterns.

From the IDPH: 
"Bats, like all wild animals, should never be handled.  Do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals or stray dogs or cats.  If you find yourself near a bat (in your home or other indoor area) close the door to the room where the bat is and call the local health department. They can help determine if you could have been exposed to rabies and if the bat needs to be tested. If you are bitten by a bat or other animal, you should seek medical attention immediately.  The local health department and animal control should also be notified and the animal captured without damaging its head (put a container over it) and only if direct contact with the animal can be avoided."

Officials warn that if a wild animal comes on your property, bring children and pets inside and wait for the animal to leave. 

If the animal is acting erratically, contact animal control.

The University of Illinois Extension also offers additional information on bats and what you can do if they are on your property.

Have Your Christmas Lights Been Cut? Blame These Troublemakers


Almost nothing kills the holiday spirit quite like looking out your window to find that the Christmas lights you spent hours hanging outside are no longer lighting up the winter night.

Read More

Creature Feature: The Stunning Snowy Owl


Snowy owls are a prized find among bird-watchers, because the beautiful birds are a sight to behold set against a wintry backdrop.

Read More

Quiz: Test Your Beaver Brainpower


We all know the saying "busy as a beaver," but how much do you really know about these buck-toothed rodents?

Read More

The Citizen Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates