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Helicopter to drop rabies vaccines against wildlife across Cape Cod

BOURNE, Mass. – Do not be afraid of a low-flying helicopter over Cape Cod in the next month or so.

From Monday, a helicopter will drop oral rabies vaccine bait intended for raccoons and other wildlife over parts of Barnstable and Plymouth counties, the Cape Cod Times reports.

Distribution of the vaccine bits north and west of the Cape Cod Channel continues through June 4, Cape Cod and the southeastern Massachusetts Rabies Task Force said in a statement.

About 68,000 oral rabies vaccines are distributed.

Using a helicopter, the state wildlife services can obtain bait for areas not accessible by vehicle.

The program is designed to increase vaccination rates against rabies in wildlife and prevent the recurrence of raccoon rabies.

The vaccine is contained in bait, which has a strong fishy odor, unpleasant to humans, but attractive to raccoons, which are vaccinated against rabies after ingesting bait, the statement said.

The vaccine is safe for dogs that can accidentally ingest it, although some dogs may have upset stomachs.

Baits that are not found and consumed within a week dissolve.

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