A rabid bat was discovered in Tinley Park after a family cat brought the creature home, officials said.
Donna Alexander, administrator for the Department of Animal and Rabies Control, told the Tribune that the bat was brought in by a cat.
"A bat that has rabies will lose its ability to fly and it looks just like a mouse," Alexander said. "That's why cats grab them."
The cat will have to be quarantined for six months, meaning it must be kept in the home and only family members can handle it, Alexander said.
Dogs and cats should be up to date on their vaccines, she said, to avoid circumstances like these. This particular cat was not up to date on its vaccines but had been vaccinated in the past, she said.
The bat was determined to be rabid by the Illinois State Public Health Laboratory, village officials said. There have been 11 bats that have tested positive for rabies in Cook County this year, Alexander said.
"This incident serves as a reminder that residents should be cautious," said Trustee Brian Maher, who serves as chairman of the Public Safety Committee in a press release. "Make sure your pets are vaccinated, and never touch wild animals."
Pat Carr, director of the village's Emergency Management Agency, said bats are common in the Chicago region.
"Bats are everywhere: Chicago, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Orland," Carr said. "They're a natural animal. This is their environment. They're all over the place. I don't think there are any bat caves."
At this time, the village wants people to be cautious, avoid bats, and visit a doctor if they're exposed to one, he said. The village said pets should be immediately inoculated with the rabies vaccine if they aren't already so.
Anyone who discovers bats or skunks on their property, dead or down, should call the Cook County Department of Animal Control at 708-974-6140.