A hedgehog infected with rabies bit a man who tried to take its photograph after encountering the animal in the southwestern Russian countryside, a federal veterinary and sanitation agency said Tuesday.
While in the Belgorod countryside, a region bordering Ukraine, the man spotted the typically nocturnal animal and suffered a bite to the hand while attempting to photograph the hedgehog.
Subsequently, the hedgehog was captured and taken to a veterinary lab in the city for testing, which came back positive for the acute viral disease, the local sanitation agency's branch, Belnadzor, said in a statement Tuesday.
This is the first case of a rabid hedgehog this year, the statement said. In all, there have been 109 registered cases of rabies among domestic and wild animals this year, the agency said.
Belnadzor has diagnosed 69 dogs and cats with rabies this year, while foxes are the most commonly affected wild animals, with 31 cases registered in 2015, the statement said.