Writing the recent news out of Harford County...

WHO'S BEEN

September 03, 1992

WHO'S BEEN writing the recent news out of Harford County -- Alfred Hitchcock?

First came mid-summer reports of rabid animal attacks in Fallston and Jarrettsville. A 6-year-old girl was bitten by a bat that flew out from under a couch in her home. Only 3 percent of rabies infections in the state are the result of bat bites.

Weeks earlier, a wild, rabid cat bit four people in the Fallston area, including an animal control officer, prompting health officials to warn residents to vaccinate their pets against the potentially fatal disease.

Last week came word that an invasion of rats in a few communities in Bel Air drove some residents to tears. The county Health Department and private exterminators are working to eradicate the rodents.

Meanwhile, farmers report that coyotes have been mauling sheep in the more sparsely populated northern reaches of the county. In the Churchville and Darlington areas, farmers suspect coyotes have been responsible for the killing of about 50 sheep since last fall -- the first such cases in Maryland. The Eastern coyote is believed to be headed this way from southern Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Bats, cats, rats and coyotes in suburban Baltimore? What's next, lions and tigers and bears?

Well, not exactly; what's next is Homo sapiens. The Nude Olym-picks -- a sports weekend and regional membership drive for nudists -- is scheduled to return to a farm in Darlington this weekend. You may feel uncomfortable with nudists cavorting in your neighbor's field, but at least they don't bite.

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