Federal agriculture officials are set to disperse rabies vaccine baits targeted at raccoons across a wide swath of northeast Maine.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spread the baits over a 2,405-square-mile area by land and air-drops between Saturday and Aug. 7.
Raccoons have the highest number of rabies cases in the eastern U.S.
A USDA spokeswoman says the vaccine is also effective in targeting foxes and coyotes.
The Times Record reports that 49 raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes have tested positive for rabies in Maine this year in 12 of 16 counties.
The USDA spokeswoman tells the newspaper that wildlife officials must stem the spread of rabies in northern Maine before tackling southern areas.