A bat loose in a Mountain Road home and an abundance of sick raccoon and opossum calls inspired the Stamford Animal Care & Control Shelter to remind Stamford residents about the dangers of rabies.
According to Officer Tilford Cobb, the volume of calls about sick wildlife has increased beyond what the average amount should be in a given time.
"It's seasonal. We'll get increased calls during certain periods throughout the year," Cobb said. "We get a lot of calls during mating season in Spring, or late Summer when the young ones start to go out exploring. There's always a lot of sick animal calls during the winter, but who knows why it's so high this year."
Cobb said animals found inside the home often have to be sent out for rabies testing, especially in instances of a bat. Don't just release the animal into the wild.
He also warned not to approach animals that appeared to be friendly outside, stating that the animal's behavior could in fact be a type of rabies different than the disease that traditionally results in a foaming mouth and wild antics.
"It could be a 'dumb' form of rabies that makes the animal act friendly and feel less threatened by intruders in its environment," Cobb said. "They'll approach you, especially in areas where they're used to being around people."
Cobb cited cases all over town, stretching from Taft Ave. to Sunset Rd. to Stillwater Ave. to Stamford Ave. to Long Ridge Rd.
A swan was in the process of being recovered from Cummings Park in the Shippan section of Stamford.
Cobb said reports of a dead swan in the water there may be due to a swan that had been acting strangely, possibly due to lead poisoning.
"The reports were that it had a broken neck, but it's likely it could have been a neurological issue," Cobb said.
"A lot of times, fishermen in the area will leave behind their sinkers. If a bird gets a hold of these and ingests them, it will be acting strange when it gets sick. There's also a possibility of West Nile," Cobb said.
Cobb wasn't sure if the animal was the same one the office had been receiving calls about with a broken foot.