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CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) -- A 7-year-old Cedar City boy was bitten by a rabid bat that he was trying to save from being tormented by other children, his family said.
Anthony Schrader, who has now undergone the series of rabies vaccinations, was on a July 13 field trip to the Wood's Ranch Kids Pond with the Community Cares Kids' Club Summer Program when the children noticed the bat flying around them.
"Everyone got in the water and was playing when we saw a bat fly by to the telephone pole," Schrader's sister, Makayla, 8, said.
"Some kids started throwing rocks at it and one kid said he could hit it, so he threw a rock and did hit the bat. It fell to the ground and kids started poking it with sticks and a couple of them picked it up and then dropped it, and that's when my brother picked it up to save it."
As he did, the bat sank its teeth into his left thumb.
"I didn't want the kids to hurt the bat anymore, but it bit me," he said.
Makayla said the two male advisers who supervised the outing were close by at a picnic table during the incident.
"One of our advisers came over and told us to gather around the bat and he told us what we'd been doing was torturing the animal and to leave it alone," she said.
The program is directed by Gabrielle Strand, who was out of the country and could not be reached for comment. Since Friday, phone calls requesting comment from her husband, who is running the program in her absence, were not returned or were answered with abrupt hang-ups, The Spectrum said.
Anthony's mother, Patricia, said she did not learn about the incident until later that night when she was bathing her children and Makayla told her.
She called their doctor, who advised them to find the bat. The next morning, they found the dead bat.
It was taken to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and tested positive for rabies.
The boy was then started on the series of rabies vaccinations.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)