A pet cougar that bit a 5-year-old Spokane Valley boy did not have rabies, the county Health District announced Tuesday.
The animal was euthanized Monday so its brain could be tested for the disease at a state laboratory. There is no other way to verify rabies in a wild animal, said Dr. John Beare, health district director.
Kannon Langley was bitten on the right hand Thursday while petting the cougar through its cage. Doctors used four stitches to close the wound.
The animal could have been spared if the boy’s parents had chosen to put him through treatment for rabies without knowing whether he actually had the disease. They decided the series of shots would have been too traumatic for the boy.
In response to the incident, animal control officers are writing an exotic animal ordinance to present to county commissioners next month.