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Rabid bat sightings rise in Santa Clarita Valley

August 31, 2011 12:55:07 AM PDT
Los Angeles County health officials are warning residents of the Santa Clarita Valley to beware of rabid bats that have been spotted in their area.

There have been eight rabid bat sightings reported so far, including one last week when one was found at a school in Valencia. Health officials said parents saw the bat before school started and kept children away from it.

Though the name of the school where the bat was found has not been disclosed, officials said the bat was safely removed from campus.

According to officials, eight to 10 rabid bats are typically found throughout Los Angeles County each year. But this year, 21 rabid bats have been found so far, including eight in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Experts are unsure as to why there has been an increase, but they said bats live in colonies and the Santa Clarita Valley is a favorite place for them.

"The city of Santa Clarita wants our community members throughout the Santa Clarita Valley to know that rabid bats have been found in the Santa Clarita Valley," said Heather Leuning, spokeswoman for the city of Santa Clarita. "We do want people to be aware of that and at the same time if they see a bat, don't touch it, don't go near it."

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