Poor old Yeller has a bad name.
According to a recent report by the CDC, bats and other wildlife are the leading cause of rabies in the United States, according to the Science News.
The findings indicate that 70% of all reported rabies cases in the US are related to bats, while other wild animals such as foxes, skunks and raccoons also pose a threat. The CDC called it "one of the most important public health achievements of the 20th century Century ".
Dog rabies, however, remains a global risk, especially for international travelers, according to the study.
Since 1960, six Americans have died of rabies abroad.
A Norwegian recently died after being bitten by a rabies-infected puppy she had rescued in the Philippines.
The CDC veterinary epidemiologist Emily Pieracci warned of the dangers of approaching wild animals. "If an animal has rabies, you can not say if you look at it," she told Science News.