Rabies-riddled bat hides in iPad cover, bites man

By mbrooks on June 3, 2019
File – A Grey-Headed Flying Fox, a fruit bat, flies past a rising full-moon at the Royal Botanic Gardens March 20, 2008 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

By Matthew Brooks

You won’t get rabies from your iPad. Getting rabies because you opened your iPad cover? That could happen. It happened to a New Hampshire man in May.

According to WMUR in South Hampton, New Hampshire, a rabid bat was hiding in between the iPad cover and the iPad.

When the man, 86-year-old Roy Syvertson, opened up the case, he sat the tablet on his legs. About an hour later, he set to close the iPad cover.
At that moment, he felt a sting on his finger.

“It felt like a little bee sting,” he told WMUR. “And I looked, and the bat was coming out of here, between the cover and the back of the pad.”

Syvertson took the bat outside, and the next morning the bat was still there.

That evening, the bat was still outside his door, but now it was dead.

That concerned Syvertson. He went to the department of health for testing. He tested positive for rabies.

Bats in Utah

There are about eighteen species that can be found in New Hampshire. In Utah, there are also eighteen species of bats.

They live in Utah year-round, according to the WildAwareUtah.org.

The wildlife website states that in Utah the bats are more likely to take up residence on your property if you have a suitable backyard for the bats.

A suitable backyard is a backyard with dead trees. Chimney, attics, and eaves are not as likely a location for bats to dwell.

Wild Aware Utah also states that “water features that attract insects, such as fountains or ponds” will attract bats.

A pole light that attracts insects will attract bats.

In Utah, only a small percentage of bats are suspected of carrying rabies.

Bats are legally protected in Utah. It is against the law to intentionally kill a bat. There are also bat species on the Endangered Species List, which grants them federal protections.

You can find more tips on dealing with bats on this KSL news article.

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