The Arizona Game and Fish Department has reported three separate rabid skunk attacks on humans over the weekend. All three attacks were in the Granite Bain area near Prescott.
However, Jeff Pebworht, wildlife programs manager with the AGFD Kingman office warns that summertime is when rabies incidents escalate statewide.
"It's a combination of factors," says Pebworth, "Rabies is a little more prevalent in the animal population during the summer months, there also more young skunks out at the time and there are more people out in the woods making the likelihood of contact higher."
Typically most cases of rabid animals involve skunks and to a lesser degree bats and foxes.
AGFD Public Information Officer Zen Mocarski warns that skunks are nocturnal animals and any seen during the day approaching humans should be assumed to have rabies and to be avoided.
Game and Fish also reminds people recreating in the woods to avoid all contact with wild animals and to keep their pets on a leash to minimize contact with wild animals
"Keep in mind that skunks are also prone to take up residence in your neighborhood. You don't have to be in the woods to come in contact with a rabid animal," says Pebworth.
Anyone encountering an animal exhibiting unusual behavior should contact the AGFD at 800-352-0700 of the Verde Ranger Station, (928) 567-4121.