GLOBE — It was like a scene out of a “Zombie Apocalypse” movie with the difference that there was only one zombie, it was a coyote, and it got into a yard full of pit bulls.
Also the result was different, a heroic dog dispatched the zombie.
A happy ending since “Twinkie” the dog had been vaccinated against rabies.
The incident happened in Kellner Canyon close to Globe. Also a rabid fox in Sunflower caused four teenagers to have to get shots. There have been rabid animals found on popular trails in the Superstitions and near Apache Lake.
These local zombies don’t come in hordes and they aren’t human. But they are real, and more than just an entertaining scare.
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus (Lyssavirus) found in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to other warm blooded animals, including humans by a bite, scratch or possible by contamination of an open cut. It can be deadly and very costly.
The rabies virus eats out the brains of foxes, skunks, coyotes, bats and other mammals.
It sets them staggering around empty eyed, seeking to bite or scratch their victims, in order to make more zombies. Really.
Children and adults need to take care. Any bite from a wild or domestic animal needs to be reported, and humans need to get shots to keep from getting the disease.
Once symptoms show themselves, it is too late.
Almost every person in history who has shown the symptoms of Rabies has died.
And according to Dr. Eubanks of Samaritan Veterinary Center in Globe, the tiny number of survivors have been left with major brain damage.
Even contact with dead animals can infect the living.
Gila County Animal Care and Control has put out a rabies warning and advises people to avoid domestic animals that are acting strangely, and to warn their children to tell if they have been bitten or scratched by any domestic or wild animal. They should be warned not to handle a dead animal even a little bat. This goes for adults too.
According to the Center for Disease Control, one person died in Florida this year after a dog bit her while she was visiting India, and she shrugged it off … until the virus had worked its way to her brain and it was too late.
The Animal Control Department provides the following services: rabies control services, licenses for dogs, shelter for strays or unwanted animals, conducts investigative reports for animal bites, rabies exposure, and citizen complaints. Additionally, they provide low cost rabies clinics for Northern and Southern Gila County.
If you see a sick or dead animal, or an animal acting abnormally in this area, report it to Gila County Animal Care & Control at: 928-425-5882