A river otter captured at Duke Farms Monday after it "lunged" at a visitor and a crossing guard tested positive for rabies, the Hillsborough Health Department and Duke Farms announced.
The two people attacked by the otter were not seriously injured, and are being treated for rabies as a precaution, the health department said.
Only four otters have tested positive for rabies in New Jersey since 1989, with most being infected by raccoons, and not by other otters. Duke Farms officials said wildlife on the property will be carefully monitored by security personnel, as well as with security cameras, for any signs of rabid behavior.
Rabies is a virus found in the saliva and central nervous system fluids of infected animals and can be passed on to other animals and humans via a bite, scratch, or open cut contamination with infected saliva. Animals with rabies may behave aggressively or may be unafraid of people. Rabies cannot be cured once symptoms begin.
If you visited this area recently and had physical contact with this animal or any wildlife, contact the Hillsborough Township Health Department at 908-369-5652.
Although attacks like this are not common, all wildlife can be unpredictable and dangerous. Visitors to Duke Farms are reminded that all wildlife should be left alone and observed from a safe distance. If you see a any animal behaving unusually, please contact Duke Farms Safety and Security staff at (908) 243-3600 or St. Hubert’s Giralda (which serves as the animal control contractor for Hillsborough) at (908) 526-3330.
In case of an emergency situation, please call the
Hillsborough Township Police Department at (908)