Baby bitten Baby bitten by rabid skunk; sheriff advises residents not to panic, but to be aware

Following a report Tuesday, that a 5-month-old child had been bitten by a dog and taken to St. Gabriel’s Hospital, the Morrison County Sheriff’s Department discovered the child had been bitten in the face by a skunk.

Deputies learned at the residence on 153rd Street near Little Falls, that the child had been outside with several other children in a child seat when the skunk approached. The skunk bit the child several times in the face before the homeowner was able to retrieve a gun and shoot the skunk to kill it.

The 5-month-old was treated for bite wounds on its face and will also be treated for potential exposure to rabies.

Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel reminds people that any time a wild animal approaches them, especially during daytime hours, that they should exercise extreme caution. “Keep your distance and report it to law enforcement,” he said.

Deputies took the animal to a local veterinary clinic, where it was tested for rabies.

Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Department learned that officials at the Community Animal Hospital in Little Falls confirmed the skunk had tested positive for rabies.

Wetzel said the family had been advised and would be taking appropriate steps with their medical provider.

“Although a positive test for rabies is concerning to members of the general public, it should certainly not cause any form of panic,” said Wetzel. “Rabies occurs naturally throughout the state each year, most times without being recognized.”

Wetzel advised residents to be particularly aware when a case has been confirmed and make certain their pets have been inoculated for the disease at a veterinary clinic.

“Additionally, reminders to small children to avoid contact with any wild animal are advisable at all times, not just when a confirmed case of rabies has been detected,” said Wetzel.