News Release

Park Hiker Bitten by Rabid Raccoon

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Date: March 21, 2024
Contact: Kathleen Sandt, (570) 234 - 9144

BUSHKILL, PA - A visitor at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was bitten by a raccoon while hiking on the McDade Recreational Trail between Bushkill Access and the Valley View Campground on March 14.  The raccoon later tested positive for rabies. 


Rabies is a disease that kills both humans and animals and is most often transmitted through the bites of infected animals. Any mammal can become infected with rabies. Not all sick animals have rabies; however, rabies should be considered in any case where an animal is acting aggressively for no apparent reason (i.e., is not protecting young, food sources, or territory) or is confused and not afraid of humans. It is unknown if other animals in the park are affected. 


If you see sick or dead wildlife, do not approach or touch it. Note the location and notify a park employee or call the park’s 24-hour emergency communications center at (570) 426-2457. Pets should be up to date on vaccinations and always kept on a leash. Notify park staff if contact with wildlife occurs or is suspected. Anyone who may have had contact with or was bitten or attacked by a wild animal in the park is asked to call the number above to report the incident. Visitors are reminded to observe and appreciate wildlife from a distance.


Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is working with National Park Service Office of Public Health and Wildlife Health Branch to protect the health and safety of visitors and wildlife in the park by testing any sick or dead wildlife and notifying the public when rabies is detected in the park.  


For more information on rabies visit Rabies (U.S. National Park Service) ( or Rabies | CDC. For information on wildlife safety visit Wildlife Safety - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (

Last updated: March 21, 2024

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Mailing Address:

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
P.O. Box 2

Bushkill, PA 18324


570 426-2452

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