January 17, 2020
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Otter that bit woman on Maine beach tests positive for rabies

Stock image via Pixabay | BDN
Stock image via Pixabay | BDN

The otter that police shot after it bit a woman on a Rockland beach Wednesday tested positive for rabies, according to results released Friday afternoon.

This is the first confirmed case of an otter having rabies in Maine since the Maine Center for Disease Control started keeping track in 1994, according to Rockland police Animal Control Officer Troy Peasley.

On Wednesday, the river otter was fatally shot by authorities after it bit a woman who was recording a video of the otter coming ashore on Sandy Beach. In order to be tested for rabies an animal must be killed.

Rockland police received the results of the rabies test Friday afternoon from the Maine Center for Disease Control, which conducted the testing on the animal.

Since the otter was rabid, the woman will have to undergo treatment for rabies. She was initially treated for her injuries Wednesday at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.

Police received two calls about the otter Wednesday. After unsuccessfully trying to capture the animal to relocate it, police were called back to the area of Sandy Beach when it bit the woman on her leg.

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