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Unusual bat activity could signal deadly disease, B.C. public asked to report

This October 2008 file photo provided by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation shows a little brown bat suffering from white-nose syndrome, with the signature frosting of fungus on its nose, found in a New York cave. Bats are in danger, decimated by a mysterious disease that has wiped out seven million in North America in a few short years.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, HO - New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Ryan von Linden, file
April 15, 2016 - 7:00 AM

VICTORIA - Wildlife officials are urging British Columbians to report unusual bat activity in the province after a diseased bat was found near Seattle.

The Ministry of the Environment says experts are concerned that White Nose Syndrome could spread to bat species in B.C., although it has not been detected in the province yet.

The deadly fungal disease is not a threat to human health but sickens and kills bats during their winter hibernation period.

Members of the public are asked to report any strange bat movement, including bats flying during the day or finding dead or dying bats.

However, officials are warning people not to handle an ill bat with bare hands because it could carry rabies.

The public is asked to phone the B.C. Community Bat Program toll free at 1-855-922-2287 with sightings.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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