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Drought May Be Forcing Rabid Skunks Into Populated Areas

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — Rabid skunks are on the rise and have been spotted in high numbers in El Dorado County.

Hold that leash a little tighter, because your furry friend now has more furry foes to worry about.

We all know skunks carry a unique smell, but there are more and more reports of them carrying the deadly rabies virus.

Jennifer Hamburg with El Dorado County Animal Control says in an average year, she'll see five to seven positive reports of rabid skunks. There have been seven in less than three months this year alone.

And it's not just in the woods of rural areas—they've also seen rabid skunks in populated areas.

Hamburg says the drought is already bringing rabid skunks out of the wild to more populated areas to look for food and water.

She says to spot a rabid skunk, look for one having trouble walking or drinking water. And whatever you do, be sure to stay away.

"They're dangerous in the fact that the calls that we have received so far seem to be they are a little bit more aggressive complaints," she said. "They are charging after people's dogs."

Animal control says it's a good idea to get your dogs and cats the rabies vaccine to protect them. They also say to report any animal you may think is rabid.

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