Little brown bat

This is a little brown bat, hanging upside down. It’s one of Teton park’s six most common bat species, along with big brown bats, silver-haired bats, hoary bats, long-legged bats and long-eared bats.

A Grand Teton National Park visitor has been treated for rabies after being bitten by a bat that tested positive for the disease.

The visitor, part of an organized group hanging out near Jenny Lake, was bitten last week. The bat fell from a tree onto the visitor's shoulder, and, when the visitor tried to brush it off, it bit the person's hand.

The leader of the group captured the bat in a plastic bag and contacted park rangers. That, according to health and park officials, was exactly the right thing to do. It's important for potentially exposed individuals to be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

The type of bat was not identified in a park press release about the incident. There are at least 12 species in the park, and generally they are doing good things like eating insects and, in some cases, pollinating plants.

Typically less than 1% of bats have rabies. 

"To date this calendar year there have been a total of five bats that have tested positive for rabies in Wyoming," the press release said.

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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