Helicopter to drop rabies vaccine for wildlife over Cape Cod

BOURNE, Massachusetts – Don’t be alarmed by a helicopter flying low over Cape Cod in the next month.

Starting Monday, a helicopter will drop oral rabies vaccine baits for raccoons and other wildlife on parts of Barnstable and Plymouth counties, the Cape Cod Times reports.

The distribution of vaccine baits north and west of the Cape Cod Canal will continue until June 4, the Cape Cod and Southeast Massachusetts Rabies Task Force said in a statement.

About 68,000 oral rabies vaccine baits will be distributed.

Using a helicopter allows state wildlife departments to obtain bait in areas not accessible by vehicle.

The program is designed to increase vaccination rates against rabies in wild animals and prevent the re-emergence of raccoon rabies.

The vaccine is contained in baits that have a strong fishy odor, unpleasant to people but attractive to raccoons, who are vaccinated against rabies after consuming the baits, the release said.

The vaccine is safe for dogs who might accidentally consume it, although some dogs may experience an upset stomach.

Bait not found and consumed within the week will dissolve.

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