LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — A 5-month-old baby is being treated for exposure to rabies after the child was bitten several times in the face by a rabid skunk in Morrison County.

Sheriff’s officials say the baby was outside in a “bouncy type” child seat with several other children when the skunk approached Tuesday at a residence near Little Falls.

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“The child was bitten in the middle of the day and did not perturb the animal,” said Sheriff Michel Wetzel. “The animal approached the baby and bit it without any sort of provocation.”

The sheriff said it is “extremely unusual” for any wild animal to approach a human in broad daylight.

“If that happens,” he said, “you pretty well assume there’s something wrong with that animal.”

The home owner retrieved a gun and shot and killed the skunk. The baby was treated at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.

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Authorities say the dead skunk was taken to the Community Animal Hospital, where it tested positive for rabies. Wetzel said the family has been notified and that they are taking appropriate steps with their medical provider. Authorities gave no update on the baby’s condition.

Wetzel said there were recent reports of rabid skunks near St. Cloud.

“There might be a little outbreak going on,” he said.

However, he also said the public shouldn’t panic.

Rabies happens naturally, authorities said. But residents are advised to make sure their pets are inoculated against the disease and that their children know not approach any wild animals.

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