The third case of rabies in two weeks has been confirmed by officials in Wareham, Massachusetts.
According to Wareham Department of Natural Resources, it received a call from a home on Anthony Way in Wareham about an aggressive woodchuck/groundhog in their yard on Thursday.
Wareham Department of Natural Resources collected the animal and sent it to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health - Rabies Laboratory for testing.
The test results came back positive for rabies, Wareham Department of Natural Resources said. The animal was disposed of in MassDPH's facilities.
According to Wareham Department of Natural Resources, this rabies case was located in a different portion of Wareham than the other two reports of rabies in bats.
Last week, Wareham Department of Natural Resources issued a public health warning after two rabid bats were found within less than a week.
Authorities are calling the discoveries "extremely unusual."
The animals, both brown bats, were found along a roughly mile-long stretch between Crooked River and Great Neck roads. The first one was discovered on Aug. 28. The second one, which attacked a woman inside her home, was found on Sept. 2.
"She had walked into her room and the bat had flown into her hair and got caught in her hair and she swatted the bat out of her hair," said officer Joshua Kimball with Wareham Department of Natural Resources.
Officials said rabid bats are rare, noting that fewer than one percent of bats nationwide are infected with the potentially deadly disease at any given time.
"In the last couple of weeks, we've probably taken in 10 bats," said Zack Mertz, the director of the Cape Wildlife Center. "I've heard reports of an increased mosquito population this year, which means they’re more active."
"We urge everyone to make sure your pets are up to date with their rabies vaccine and tagged accordingly. If you are in doubt, check with your veterinarian," a statement by Wareham Department of Natural Resources said.
Officials urge anyone with questions of a possible exposure or to locate an animal acting sickly or aggressive to contact Wareham Department of Natural Resources at 508-291-3100 x3180. After regular business hours, contact Wareham Police at 508-295-1212.
Wareham Department of Natural Resources also warns to not approach any wildlife especially if it is acting in a sickly or aggressive fashion.