A squirrel found dead at Lake Tahoe last month has tested positive for the plague, health officials said, marking the latest incidence of the disease in California that forced the temporary closure of two Yosemite National Park campgrounds. The Lake Tahoe squirrel was discovered at a picnic area near the Tallac Historic Site on Aug. 17 and sent to a state laboratory for testing, the El Dorado County Environmental Management Division, said in a written statement released on Friday.
Test results confirmed last Wednesday that the rodent had plague, El Dorado health officials said, and warning signs were posted for visitors to the area. The officials said they were not aware of any contact between humans and the squirrel. “Plague is naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County, so we need to be cautious around animals that can carry it,” Karen Bender, a supervisor with the El Dorado County Environmental Management Division, said in a written statement. FULL REPORT