An eight-point rabid buck that charged at National Park Service ranger was killed along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Maryland, an agency spokeswoman said.
Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said a ranger — who was responding to a call about an animal in distress — shot the adult white-tailed deer near Sycamore Landing on Wednesday.
The deer looked sick and was having a hard time standing on its own, said Anzelmo-Sarles. She said the ranger was not injured in the attack.
Anzelmo-Sarles said the buck was turned over to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, who performed a necropsy — a wildlife version of an autopsy — and discovered that it tested positive for rabies.
It is unknown if other animals in the park are affected, a press release said.
The transmission rabies — an infectious disease affecting the nervous system of humans and other mammals — from deer to human or other animals is very low, according to the release. The release said rabies can be spread through a bite, scratch or saliva from an infected animal that gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or an opening in the skin. Untreated, rabies is fatal in humans.
Sycamore Landing is about 14 miles northwest of Potomac and one mile west of River Road. Anzelmo-Sarles said the agency is asking anyone who may have come in contact with the deer between Sept. 2 and Sept. 16 to report it.
If you believe you or your pet may have come in contact with the deer, contact the Montgomery County Disease Control Office at (240) 777-1755. Symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including general weakness, discomfort, fever or headache, according the press release.