Warnings issued after National Park hiker bitten by rabid racoon

young raccoons (
It is unknown if other animals in the park are affected (Image credit: Ferenc Cegledi)

A hiker in a National Park site has been bitten by a rabid racoon, according to a news release issued by NPS officials.

In the report, which was released yesterday, the NPS announced that a hiker had been bitten on March 14 while hiking in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area which straddles New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The hiker, who was not named, was reportedly hiking on the McDade Recreational Trail between Bushkill Access and the Valley View Campground when the incident occurred. The raccoon later tested positive for rabies. 

It is unknown if other animals in the park are affected, but rabies is present among wildlife in all states but Hawaii, according to the NPS. Last month, we reported on a hiker who killed a rabid coyote  it attacked him and in January, officials at Saguaro National Park in Arizona warned of a possible rabies outbreak after several foxes and racoons were observed acting strangely and a hiker was bitten by an unusually aggressive bobcat.

Rabies is a virus acquired through contact with an infected animal and in humans it is nearly always fatal without a post-exposure vaccine series. Anyone who thinks they may have been in contact with the coyote is urged to seek immediate medical attention. If you think your pet may have been infected, you should obtain veterinarian care. 

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.