Rabies found most often in bats, skunks

There were 141 cases of rabies reported in Canada last year in eight animals species, according to recently released Canadian Food Inspection Agency statistics.

Ontario reported the highest number of cases at 28, of which 25 occurred in bats and one each in a skunk, cat and dog.

Manitoba had the next highest number of cases at 25. Eighteen of those were skunks, three were dogs and two were foxes. There was also one horse and one bovine.

Saskatchewan reported 24 cases: 13 in skunks, five in bats, four in dogs and one each in a horse and bovine.

Ten cases were reported in British Columbia, all of them in bats.

Alberta had two cases, also in bats.

Bats made up almost 32 percent of the reported rabies cases in Canada, followed by foxes at 29 percent and skunks at 22 percent.

Rabies is a viral disease that is always fatal in animals and humans once symptoms appear. It attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals.