Hiker in Glacier National Park, Montana survives Grizzly attack; Californians hiring a trapper to solve Coyote problem; Illinois officials ask Deer hunters to volunteer kills for CWD testing; Rabies reports from CT, MD, MN, & NY; and West Nile Virus reports from IL, MA, MS, NV, PA, TX, & VT. Canada: Ontario hiker survives Bear attack. Follow-Up Report: New Jersey Bear attack never happened.

Grizzly bear sow with radio neckband, and cub. Courtesy National Park Service.

Montana 08/05/11 nps.gov: News Release – This afternoon at approximately 12 p.m. a hiker on the trail from Many Glacier to Piegan Pass was attacked by a grizzly bear. The 50-year male hiker from St. Paul, Minnesota was hiking alone when he rounded a bend in the trail and encountered a sow grizzly with one sub-adult. The hiker was carrying bear spray, but was unable to deploy it before the bear attacked. The hiker sustained bites to his left thigh and left forearm, before the bear grabbed his foot, shook him, released him and left the area. The man hiked back toward Many Glacier encountering a naturalist ranger leading a hike. The ranger notified dispatch while the man continued to the Many Glacier Ranger Station where he was treated for his injuries and then transported to the Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning by the Babb Ambulance. Initial reports indicated the hiker was making noise as he hiked. The trail from Piegan Pass to Feather Plum Falls is closed at this time, and rangers are investigating the incident. All visitors to Glacier National Park are reminded that the park is home to black and grizzly bears. Hikers are advised to carry bear spray, and know how to use it. Hikers are also encouraged to hike in groups and make noise when hiking.

California 08/05/11 ocregister.com: by Eric Carpenter – Frustrated by a perceived lack of response from officials to numerous coyote sightings and attacks on pets, west Anaheim residents say they plan to take care of the problem themselves. Residents said they’ve placed numerous calls in recent weeks to the city, to animal-control agencies and to owners of nurseries where they say coyotes frequent. Ultimately, they’ve received the same answer: If you want to get rid of the coyotes, hire a trapper. So that’s what more than a dozen residents are vowing to do – at a cost of more than $300. “I just can’t believe that when they (the coyotes) are a nuisance to so many people, especially down here in an urban area, that we are being told we have to pay to take care of the problem ourselves,” said resident Lynda Gendreau, 50. “But that’s what we’re finding we have to do.” (For complete article go to http://www.ocregister.com/articles/gendreau-311043-coyotes-residents.html )

Illinois 08/06/11 dailyherald.com: by James Fuller – Kane County Forest Preserve District officials are sending a message to local hunters that their kills can make next year’s state deer culling less emotional than this year’s. Recent state testing of at least 75 deer for chronic wasting disease revealed the presence of the fatal deer illness for the first time in Kane County. However, the spread of the disease is contained so far. Forest preserve staff members said Friday that state officials confirmed to them at a recent meeting in Rockford that deer culling will occur in Kane County again in 2012. No numbers for how many deer will be killed were revealed at the meeting. Fans of the local deer population decried the culling as excessive in the latest round. Only four deer were found with the disease. None of those four were among the sample taken by the state. All four were found by hunters or local residents. “It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it does mean (the disease) is there, and it is going to spread,” forest preserve commissioner Mike Kenyon said.

Deer with CWD

Kenyon said he’d like to see more local hunters volunteer their deer kills for testing. In fact, he’d like to see mandatory testing for deer killed by hunters. But forest preserve district Executive Director Monica Meyers said that’s not likely to happen. “It doesn’t look like they are willing to make testing mandatory,” Meyers said. “They think hunters would be more upset by that than what the state is doing now.” Instead, Meyers said the district is tentatively working with the state to create voluntary test stations for deer parts. The stations would be located in the north, south and middle portions of the county at the district’s maintenance and control facilities. “We want to be part of the solution,” Meyers said. Kenyon said the district must work with the state to ensure the health of the deer population for future generations. “If we let it get out of control then we’ll have to destroy all the deer,” Kenyon said.

Connecticut 08/06/11 norwichbulletin.com: The Uncas Health District is reminding Griswold residents to keep a close eye on their pets after a rabid raccoon was caught near Dawley Road last week. Health district officials said in a release there was no human or animal exposure to the raccoon. However, dogs and cats that are not up-to-date on rabies vaccines are vulnerable. The district also reminds residents not to pet or feed wild animals. Call the health district at (860) 823-1189 with any questions or concerns.

Maryland 08/06/11 patch.com: by Nicole Ogrysko – After several Aberdeen residents noticed a bat infestation in their apartments, more than 30 individuals are being treated for rabies, The Baltimore Sun reported. According to the article, the Harford County Health Department reported there were “significant bat colonizations” in the Perrywood Gardens and Cranberry Run apartment complexes. Health department officials are posting flyers on residents’s doors and holding community meetings to inform residents, The Sun reported. Workers are also screening and plugging cracks in apartment walls, in effort to “bat-proof” the complexes, the article said.

Minnesota 08/06/11 republican-eagle.com: Red Wing Police are looking for a dog that bit a 16-year-old boy Tuesday morning. The boy was trying to keep the dog from running out into traffic near the County Inn and Suites, 4275 Highway 61 Blvd., when the animal bit him. The boy was not seriously injured, but Police Captain Darold Glander said a bigger concern is the transmission of rabies. The dog is described as a white and tan beagle and was wearing a black nylon collar. Anyone who has information about the dog or who its owner might be is encouraged to call police at 651-267-2600.

New York 08/05/11 wbng.com: by Bryan Mercer – Claudia Edwards, Public Health Director for the Broome County Health Department reported today that two Endicott residents were exposed to rabies after taking in a stray cat. The cat tested positive for rabies on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Broome County Health Department officials are asking residents to notify the health department if they had any contact with a stray cat residing in the area between Round Top Park and Riverside Cemetery south of East Main Street (Route 17 C) between July 22, 2011 and August 1, 2011. Residents should call the health department at (607) 778-2847 on August 8, 2011, between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. at which time an interview will be provided to evaluate the need for rabies treatment.

Kane County

Illinois 08/06/11 cbslocal.com: by Mary Frances Bragiel – Mosquitoes taken in a trap on the East Side of Aurora have tested positive for the West Nile virus, the Kane County Health Department said Friday. This is the first positive test reported in the county this year. Health officials noted that so far there have been no reported West Nile cases in humans, and no birds have tested positive in the county. Last year, there were five cases reported in people in Kane County.

Massachusetts 08/05/11 thedailygrafton.com: by Danielle Kahn – A case of West Nile Virus was found in the town of Sturbridge recently, prompting local residents to take precautions. The infected sample was found in the southeast corner of the town, south of Route 20, west of 84 and it is the first case of its kind found in the town and the first in Central Mass. Tim Deschamps, the executive director of Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project based in Northborough, said that they already sprayed once in July but are planning to spray again next week. The case was the first found in Central Mass. but Deschamps said the Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project was recently notified of a positive sample in Acton. For more information on spraying schedules or what you can do to mosquito-proof your home, visit the Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project’s website, http://www.cmmcp.org.

Hinds County

Forrest County

Mississippi 08/03/11 ms.gov: News Release – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports two new human cases of West Nile virus (WNV). The cases were reported in Hinds and Forrest counties. This brings the state total for 2011 to nine.

 

Clark County

Nevada 08/06/11 washingtonexaminer.com: Nevada health officials are urging residents to protect themselves from bug bites after mosquitoes in two ponds in Clark County and another in Lyon County tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Lyon County

Officials say the ponds in Mason Valley in northern Nevada, and Logandale is southern Nevada, could signal the virus is in other areas of the state this summer.

Fayette County

 

Pennsylvania 08/06/11 pittsburghlive.com: by Judy Kroeger – The West Nile virus has come to Fayette County. No mosquitoes had tested positive for the disease since 2005, but 10 samples taken this week have tested positive. Two pools in Connellsville, Belle Vernon and Washington Township contained infected mosquitoes. One pool each in Dunbar, Fayette City, North Union and Perryopolis tested positive. Twenty-eight Pennsylvanians tested positive for the virus in 2010. No human cases have been reported this year.

Harris County

Texas 08/06/11 chron.com: by Naheeda Sayeeduddin – Harris County health officials on Friday said there is a suspected human case of West Nile virus in Houston a day after Montgomery County confirmed its first case of the year. Houston health officials say they are waiting for tests to confirm their case. The Montgomery County infection is the second human West Nile case confirmed in the state this year, said Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. The other person infected, in Angelina County, died. Because of confidentiality concerns, state officials will not say where in Montgomery County that case was reported. Nor will they tell the patient’s age, other than that she is an adult, Williams said. The county has confirmed 286 positive mosquito samples from the Houston area this year. There were 84 confirmed samples this time last year, said Martha Marquez, spokeswoman for Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services.

Vermont 08/05/11 healthvermont.gov: News Release – The Vermont Department of Health announced today that West Nile virus was detected in mosquitoes collected on July 18 from a trap in Brandon. West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus that is typically spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. No illness in people due to West Nile virus has been confirmed in Vermont since 2003 and no horses have tested positive since 2005. Every summer the state tests dead birds and traps and tests mosquitoes for the virus. The state also helps arrange testing for people or horses with symptoms consistent with the West Nile virus infection.

Canada:

Ontario 08/05/11 thestar.com: A 57-year-old woman is in hospital after being attacked by a bear in Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior, north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. An official at the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre at CFB Trenton says the woman was one of three people who got off a small boat in a harbour at the park today at 8:40 a.m. The woman suffered puncture wounds to her right side and lost a lot of blood after the bear attacked her. Authorities say the trio got back onto the boat and radioed the rescue centre, which got in touch with park rangers. They sped to the scene in a rescue craft, and took the injured woman to the ranger station. She was transferred to an ambulance and taken to hospital in Marathon, just north of the park. The two other people were not hurt.

Follow-Up Report:

New Jersey 08/04/11 nj.com: by Victoria St. Martin & Richard Khavkine – (The Sussex County black bear attack that was said to have occurred on August 3rd, and was reported in this blog on August 4th, never actually happened.)  Turns out, wildlife authorities revealed today, that upon further review, the two boys were not injured by the animal at all. The marks on their foot and shoulder were scars from an old scrape and a blister. Startled camp counselors made the wrong assumption during all the ruckus. “It appears that the injuries were not from the attack,” said Larry Herrighty, assistant director of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. “The scratches and the abrasions were not caused by a bear — they were not fresh wounds.” The bear invaded the camp where a group of nine inner city boys and two counselors were sleeping at about 4:30 in the morning Wednesday. It pulled at a sleeping bag and swiped at a tent and knocked it down, Herrighty said. The counselors and their charges clapped, blew a whistle and sang and shouted, and finally a conservation officer shot the animal in the neck, driving it away. Shortly after the encounter, counselors spotted marks on the foot and shoulder of the two campers — ages 11 and 12 — and told officials they had been scrapped during the incident. Later, when the youngsters were examined at a local hospital, doctors alerted wildlife officials something was amiss with the injuries. DEP officials magnified images of the wounds on a computer screen and determined they were not fresh and not made by the bear. Herrighty said that, in fact, the two boys never said they were struck by the bear.       (For complete report go to http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/08/bear_attack_update_nj_official.html )

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