Two dozen raccoons and four skunks were captured in Bath as part of a program conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services with help from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The city council approved the program in February after a rise in rabies contributed to 18 fox attacks on people and pets. The hope was to reduce the density of species that may carry rabies.

Three domestic cats who wandered into the box traps were quickly returned to their owners. The raccoons and skunks were euthanized using methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The program ended March 30. The captured animals were tested for rabies, and a full report from the USDA will be released to the public in June.

Twenty-six non-target animals were captured and released. March was chosen to avoid orphaning young animals born in April, but USDA staff still inspected adult females for signs of lactation. No such animals were among those captured.


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