By CBSBoston.com Staff

HYANNIS (CBS) — A sick raccoon is the first non-bat rabies case on Cape Cod in eight years, the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment said Thursday.

The case was identified following routine testing on a sick animal in Hyannis. The raccoon did not make any contact with humans, the department said.

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“This is the first known case of terrestrial (non-bat) rabies on Cape Cod in 8 years,” the department said. “Rabies in wildlife, primarily raccoons, skunks and foxes, has been effectively managed in Barnstable County due in large part to oral rabies vaccine distribution conducted by the Cape Cod & Southeast MA Rabies Task Force each spring and fall.”

In May, a low-flying helicopter dropped oral rabies vaccine baits over Cape Cod that were intended for raccoons and other wildlife.

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“It is important for the public to keep themselves, children, and pets away from wild and stray animals,” the department warned. “Pet owners are also reminded to keep their pets’ rabies vaccines up-to-date.”

Anyone who sees an animal behaving strangely should call their local animal control.

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CBSBoston.com Staff