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Fri September 22, 2006
Rabies Test Negative for "Bald Bill"
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – Rabies test done on a hooded seal came back negative. The young, male seal bit an employee at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science center who was trying to help him.
A spokesperson for the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center says the employee has several stitches and is recovering, although upset about the seal's death.
The young seal, named Bald Bill, was found on Wrightsville beach a week ago. He was in Virginia recovering when he bit the employee and was then put down so a necropsy could determine whether he had rabies.
UNCW Marine Biologist Anne Pabst says while tragic, it was the right thing to do.
Any person that's bitten by a wild animal, you always have to be very, very concerned about the health consequences of that.
Pabst says she hopes the public will understand that wild animals are a risk to both trained specialists and the public and people should never approach stranded wild animals.