Tag Archives: Elk

Study finds ELK may adapt to CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ BEAR attacks DANISH birdwatcher in CANADA ~ COLORADAN hospitalized with HANTAVIRUS infection ~ Interesting RABIES reports from MD, SC, TX & VT.

Bull elk bugling. Courtesy National Park Service.

Bull elk bugling. Courtesy National Park Service.

Wyoming 07/21/14 ktvq.com: A 10-year study conducted by the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department suggests that the effects of chronic wasting disease (CWD) on elk populations may not be as devastating as once believed. Research has shown that genes play a role in elk susceptibility to CWD. Some elk have genes that prolong the time between exposure to the CWD prion, the infectious agent of CWD, and the onset of the disease. These genes become dominant over many decades, greatly reducing the impact of CWD on the population. Elk with these genes live longer even when heavily exposed to CWD and therefore have more opportunity to reproduce than elk with other genes.

WY-2010-12-06_16-28-11_078Some people have feared that winter feed grounds for elk would concentrate the disease resulting in much higher incidence of CWD. “This study model essentially represents the worst-case scenario that would face feed ground elk,” said Dr. Terry Kreeger, retired state wildlife veterinarian for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We predict a genetic shift over several decades favoring genes that prolong the incubation time of CWD resulting in elk populations that are able to persist in the face of the disease.”

WY_GFD-LogoScott Edberg, deputy chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Division states: “It helps to know that based on this research, if CWD should become established on feed grounds, we won’t see a devastating effect on populations as many have feared. This research also looked at how hunting would affect populations, and it appears, Game and Fish would still need to have hunting seasons to manage elk populations even if faced with CWD on feed grounds.” – See http://www.ktvq.com/news/study-finds-elk-may-be-able-to-adapt-to-chronic-wasting-disease-214986/

Bear Attack:

field_trip_atlas_of_canada_subsetCanada 07/22/14 Alberta: A 53-year-old tourist from Copenhagen, Denmark, was attacked by a bear on July 19th while looking for a good spot to birdwatch along the Powerline trail by Quarry Lake near Canmore. The man defended himself with his binoculars and there was a struggle, and the man suffered bruises and scratches, but the bear suddenly turned and left without ever so much as knocking the man to the ground. It’s believed the bear as feeding on berries and was startled. Fish and Wildlife officers have closed the area and set traps for the bear, but it hasn’t been seen since the attack. – For complete article see http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta/blue+this+bear+attacked+recalls+Danish+birdwatcher/10052325/story.html

Hantavirus:

504f618286f53_preview-300Colorado 07/23/14 postindependent.com: Officials have confirmed a case of hantavirus in a Mesa County resident. The patient was being treated at a Denver hospital as of July 21st. – See http://www.postindependent.com/news/12325603-113/hantavirus-case-county-droppings

Rabies:

rabies.warningMaryland 07/21/14 Wicomico County: A feral cat found in the Friendship Road area of Pittsville has tested positive for rabies. Individuals recently exposed to a feral cat in the Pittsville area should call Animal Control at the county Humane Society. – See http://www.wboc.com/story/26072724/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-wicomico-county

South Carolina 07/23/14 Greenville County: A feral cat that was in contact with an area resident has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/cat-exposes-person-to-rabies-in-greenville-county/27108696#!bkT7Wj

can_you_helpTexas 07/23/14 Austin/Travis County Health: Officials are asking the public to help locate a man who may have been exposed to rabies. On Saturday, July 19th at approximately 10:30 a.m., a call came into Animal Services dispatch regarding a grounded bat. By the time APD arrived, a man had picked up the bat, running toward the Ann Richards Bridge.  If anyone has information, please contact our Disease Surveillance Program at 512-972-5555. Rabies exposure occurs only when a person is bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal, or when abrasions, open wounds, or mucous membranes are contaminated with the saliva, brain, or nervous system tissue of a potentially rabid animal. It may take several weeks or longer for people to show symptoms after being infected with rabies. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with a rabies infection has the advanced symptoms, that person usually does not survive. – See http://www.austintexas.gov/news/possible-human-exposure-rabies-2

Vermont 07/22/14 Chittendon County: A woodchuck that bit a South Road resident in Williston last weekend has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2014/07/22/williston-woodchuck-test-positive-rabies/13013557/

WISCONSIN MAN mauled by BLACK BEAR ~ MONTANA confirms 2 cases of HANTAVIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA university police issue MOUNTAIN LION warning ~ CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE moving toward SHENANDOAH and YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARKS ~ RABIES reports from AR, CA, CT, ID, MDx2, NCx2, OH, TX, VA, & WA ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: USDA APHIS meeting re FERAL SWINE damage management.

Black bear. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Black bear. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Wisconsin 05/16/13 greenbaypressgazette.com: by Nathan Phelps – A man was bitten, cut and scratched Wednesday when he was attacked by a black bear on Finch Lane in Silver Cliff in Marinette County. Gerre Ninnemann encountered the bear just before 1:30 p.m. after seeing it go after his dog, according to a Marinette County Sheriff’s Department report. Ninnemann called his dog back to the house and tried to run inside, but the bear ran him down from behind and took him to the ground. The animal started biting and clawing at his back, the report said. Ninnemann was able to get up and make it to the corner of the cabin, but was caught by the animal again.

Marinette County

Marinette County

His wife, Marie, grabbed a shotgun from the home and used it to hit the bear on the head. At that point, Gerre Ninneman again was able to get away from the bear. He used theshotgun to poke it in an effort to keep it away as they retreated into the cabin. The bear continued to circle the cabin and look in the windows, according to the report. A Marinette County deputy shot and killed the bear. A conservation warden took possession of the bear to check for possible rabies, according to the incident report. Gerre Ninneman was taken to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette for treatment.

Hantavirus:

Gallatin County

Gallatin County

Montana 05/17/13 bozemandailychronicle.com: County and state officials today confirmed two new cases of hantavirus and the first 2013 death in the state from the illness. A Gallatin County woman in her 20s died from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and a Carbon County man in his 40s was diagnosed with it, the Department of Health and Human Services reported.

Carbon County

Carbon County

The Gallatin County woman is the 10th person in Montana to die from hantavirus. Both people appear to have had recent exposure to rodents. There have been 37 reported cases of hantavirus in Montana since 1993. With one or two cases a year, Montana is second only to New Mexico in the number of cases. – For further details read May 18 report at www.dailychronicle.com

Mountain Lion Sightings:

cougar01dfg.CA.govCalifornia 05/14/13 sanluisobispo.com: by Julia Hickey – A mountain lion sighting at Cal Poly on Monday night has brought the number of sightings at or near the university to four this month. All of the sightings have taken place near Poly Canyon Village, said George Hughes, chief of police for the University Police Department. “This mountain lion has been seen on the hillside. That’s its natural habitat; it’s not unusual,” Hughes said. The first sighting took place May 2 on Stenner Creek Road; followed by two sightings Sunday near the Poly Canyon Village parking structure; and a fourth sighting at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night in the same area near the structure. Police are assuming that all sightings are of the same mountain lion, Hughes said.  Although mountain lions are secretive and attacks on humans are rare, police say there are considered threats. – For recommendations see http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/05/14/2508213/mountain-lion-poly-canyon-village.html

Chronic Wasting Disease:

128487904189069934whitetailVirginia 05/14/13 dailyprogress.com: by Aaron Richardson –  A deadly brain disorder affecting deer, moose and elk is on the region’s doorstep, and its spread could be impossible to stop. Chronic wasting disease, a progressive condition that can remain idle for years before killing the infected animal, has been found in deer 25 miles from the Shenandoah National Park’s northern border, said park biologist Rolf Gubler. The park stretches northeast from outside Waynesboro to Front Royal. Experts say there is no evidence that chronic wasting can be transmitted to humans. But its effect on deer, as well as moose and elk, is devastating — symptoms include dramatic weight loss, tremors and teeth-grinding — and the disease is incurable. Park officials held meetings on chronic wasting earlier this spring in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Washington, and they are working on a plan to contain the infection. That could include thinning the heaviest populations of whitetail deer in the park. – For complete article see http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/chronic-wasting-disease-in-deer-likely-to-move-farther-east/article_173a965a-bcea-11e2-ad43-0019bb30f31a.html

bull-elkNPSWyoming 05/14/13 thewildlifenews.com: Information gleaned from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department indicates that deadly Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is advancing towards western Wyoming’s winter elk feed grounds and Yellowstone National Park. A new map from the Greater Yellowstone Coalition shows the areas where the disease has been detected in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are within 45 miles of winter elk feedgrounds and about 40 miles from Yellowstone Park’s northeast corner. The 2012 information reveals the farthest advance west of CWD in deer in Wyoming yet. Last year, three mule deer were found infected with CWD in Green River, Wyo.; an infected moose was found near Idaho in Star Valley, Wyo., in 2008. Veteran conservationist Lloyd Dorsey of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition said the disease is now essentially on the doorstep of the elk feed grounds, including the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole. Dorsey notes that deer from the endemic disease areas to the east and south migrate north and west to elk herd units in the upper Green River and Jackson Hole, where most of the winter feed grounds are located. For more information on the map depicting CWD areas and Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s efforts to phase out the artificial elk feeding areas and transition to healthier, free ranging wildlife, see http://www.greateryellowstone.org/elkrefuge – For complete article see http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2013/05/17/chronic-wasting-disease-closes-in-on-yellowstone/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

madison cty MSMississippi 05/15/13 Madison County: State health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV reported in the state this year in early April. Last year, 247 cases of WNV were reported statewide, including 5 fatalities. – See http://www.dailyleader.com/news/article_e7036d56-bd8c-11e2-97b0-0019bb2963f4.html

Rabies:

striped-skunks-01_000Arkansas 05/16/13 Garland County: Officials confirm nine skunks have tested positive for rabies in the county in the last three months. Pope County has the highest in the state with 13 cases, and statewide Arkansas had more confirmed cases by May of this year than in the entire year of 2011. With 90 confirmed cases and the summer months still ahead, the Natural State is on track to surpass the 131 cases recorded in 2012. – See http://arkansasmatters.com/fulltext?nxd_id=663792

grounded%20batCalifornia 05/14/13 Santa Clara County: A bat found April 12th on the Los Gatos Creek Trail between Lark Avenue and Charter Oaks Drive has tested positive for rabies. – See http://campbell.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/bat-found-on-los-gatos-creek-trail-tests-positive-fore594fe7b41

size0Raccoon_USArmyConnecticut 05/14/13 New Haven County: A raccoon found May 12th in the vicinity of Pope and Hawley roads in Oxford has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.voicesnews.com/articles/2013/05/14/arts_and_living/pets_and_wildlife/doc519274565e1f2493782011.txt

ff5Idaho 05/14/13 Kootenai County: A bat found on an interior staircase of a home in the county has tested positive for rabies. Everyone living in the home is now being treated for potential exposure to the virus. – See http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/may/14/rabid-bat-flies-north-idaho-home/

27632221_RabidgoatMaryland 05/16/13 Garrett County: Seven people are being treated for exposure to rabies after a goat in the southern area of the county tested positive for the virus. – See http://times-news.com/local/x730880365/Second-rabies-case-in-Garrett-involves-goat

can_you_helpMaryland 05/14/13 carrollcountytimes.com: by Kelcie Pegher – The Carroll County Health Department is seeking a medium-sized dog with a black coat that bit a person at Memorial Park in Taneytown May 5, according to a release from Carroll County Government. Joe Mancuso, the rabies coordinator for Carroll County said from the description that was given to him, it does not appear as though the dog had rabies.  If you have any information to help locate the dog or its owner, contact the Carroll County Health Department at 410-876-1884, or the Carroll County Humane Society at 410-848-4810.

North Carolina 05/15/13 Henderson County: A gray fox that attacked and bit a woman who was working in the garden at her home on Penny Drive in Hendersonville has tested positive for rabies. The fox bit her several times on the left hand and right leg. Later that night, the fox bit a man in the vicinity 5704860-portrait-of-gray-fox-barkingof Sweetwater Hills Drive and fortunately the man managed to kill the animal with his flashlight. Both bite victims are being treated for exposure to the virus. – See http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20130515/NEWS/130519867?p=2&tc=pg

North Carolina 05/15/13 Guilford County: A fox that bit two children on Sunday who were sitting on the deck at their apartment on Guyer Street in High Point has tested positive for rabies. One was bitten on the hand, the other on the leg. – See http://www.news-record.com/news/1225066-91/rabid-fox-bites-two-children

imagesCAQVTCKPOhio 05/16/13 Mahoning County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of Cherry Hill Place in Boardman has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/may/16/second-rabid-raccoon-found-in-mahoning-c/?nw

3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718Texas 05/16/13 Taylor and Jones counties: A skunk found in the 3400 block of Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene has tested positive for rabies. Three unvaccinated dogs had been in contact with the skunk. Last month, two rabid skunks were captured within the city’s limits. – See http://www.reporternews.com/news/2013/may/16/third-skunk-in-abilene-this-year-with-rabies/

Raccoon-SiedePreis-smVirginia 05/14/13 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of Laniers Mill Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/article_ccdf3da2-bcd7-11e2-843e-001a4bcf6878.html

big_brown_batNPSWashington 05/14/13 Franklin County: A bat that bit an 11-month-old child twice in Pasco has tested positive for rabies. The child and her grandmother, who removed the bat from the child’s back, are being treated for exposure to the virus. The bat few from the deck umbrella as it was being opened. – See http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/05/14/2597353/rabid-bat-bites-pasco-baby.html

Announcement:

thumbnailtexasferalhogsOn Thursday, May 23rd, APHIS’ Wildlife Services and Veterinary Services programs will host a scoping meeting to provide more information about a national approach to feral swine damage management and take comments from participating stakeholders.  Anyone who is unable to attend in person can join the meeting via a live Webcast.  Additional meeting information is available on the Wildlife Services’ Web site at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/feral_swine/index.shtml.  A Notice announcing APHIS’ intent to prepare an environmental impact statement to examine the potential impacts of alternatives for feral swine damage management was published in today’s Federal Register. The public comment period closes June 12.  http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS_FRDOC_0001-1436.

Event Logistics:

Date:  Thursday, May 23, 2013 ~ Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT

Location: 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737

WYOMING testing new VACCINE in ELK hoping to prevent CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ WOLF pack in MONTANA kills DOG hunting MOUNTAIN LIONS ~ FLORIDA issues EQUINE HERPES VIRUS ALERT ~ RABIES reports from CO, FL, NJ, NC, & TX.

Mating elk. Courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mating elk. Courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Wyoming 02/19/13 wgfd.wyo.gov: News Release – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has begun a multi-year study at its Thorne-Williams Wildlife Research Unit (formerly Sybille) near Wheatland to evaluate the efficacy of a vaccine against chronic wasting disease. The vaccine was developed in Canada by three leading infectious disease centers. In January, researchers trapped 50 elk calves at Game and Fish’s South Park feedground (south of WY_GFD-LogoJackson) and transported them to the research unit. There, calves were split into two groups. One group was vaccinated and one was an unvaccinated control group. “Previous research has demonstrated that elk will naturally contract chronic wasting disease by being housed at the unit,” said Game and Fish Chief Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Terry Kreeger. “We predict that the vaccinated group will live longer than the control group. It’s important to understand that even if the vaccine does not provide lifelong protection from chronic wasting disease, every extra year of survival the vaccine provides will mean increased production in an affected population.” A parallel vaccine study is being conducted on deer in Colorado. – For complete release see http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/news-1000368.aspx

Wolves:

mtnlion_NPSMontana 02/27/13 ravallirepublic.com: by Perry Backus – In the 20 years that Tom Henderson has been hunting mountain lions with hounds, he’s never had a run-in with wolves. That changed Saturday. It was about 10 a.m. when the hounds he was hunting with treed a lion near Gird Creek, just north of Skalkaho Creek and east of Hamilton, following a two-hour chase. He and his companions were about 100 yards away from the treed lion and the three dogs when they saw a pack of six wolves appear. About five seconds later, Henderson said, a wolf grabbed one of Dan Morris’ hounds by the neck and killed it. “He grabbed it and broke its neck,” Henderson said. “It happened really fast. We started shooting our pistols.”

TreeingWalkerCoonhoundTreeingCoonHenderson said the wolves were initially focused on the dogs and hung around for a few moments before loping off. “That was kind of surprising,” Henderson said. “I think they were pretty focused on the dogs. We were able to get quite a bit closer even after shooting.” With the state’s wolf season still open, Henderson said they could have legally shot them. “All we had were pistols,” he said. “That’s just not very realistic.”This is the second time this winter that wolves have killed mountain lion hunting hounds owned by people in the Bitterroot Valley. Earlier this year, three hounds owned by a Stevensville man were killed in the Ninemile drainage north of Missoula. Henderson said that it’s become a fact of life for lion hunters.

Wolf_in_the_fireweed_gallery“This is the new normal,” he said. “It’s a risk we take. I’m not a wolf fan, but I’ve come to the conclusion that even with more liberal seasons, wolves are here forever.” “We’re going to have to live with them,” Henderson said. In an effort to cut down on the risk, Henderson said he has been putting bells on his dog’s collars in hopes of keeping wolves at bay from the unnatural noise that the bells produce. – For complete article see http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_08c8d58e-8089-11e2-b533-001a4bcf887a.html

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1):

photo-credit-american-assoc-of-equine-practitionersFlorida 02/24/13 freshfromflorida.com: News Release - A horse participating in the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS), horse show in Ocala was referred to the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine after showing clinical neurological signs on February 20th. The horse subsequently tested positive for the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), wild-type strain. Currently, the horse is in stable condition and continues to be treated at the University of Florida. There are no additional suspected or confirmed cases at this time.  The Division of Animal Industry is continuing the disease investigation, which includes the HITS show grounds in Ocala, the local index farm and multiple premises that have horses that may have been exposed to the positive horse. No new Q%20Tapequarantines have been issued today and the seven quarantines issued since last Thursday remain in place. These quarantines include the index farm, Tent 7 at HITS and five additional premises in Florida; two farms in the Ocala area, one in Pinellas Park, one in St. Augustine and one in Wellington. At this point in the investigation there are no known exposed horses in other states. – For complete release see http://www.freshfromflorida.com/ai/pdf/EHVWebsiteUpdate.pdf

Rabies:

skunk2f4gh - CopyColorado 02/27/13 Adams County: Health officials have confirmed that a skunk found on private property in Brighton has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22681954/skunk-brighton-tests-positive-rabies

Florida 02/27/13 Brevard County: A man who OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAattempted to pick up a raccoon that was hit by a car and was bitten is now receiving rabies post-exposure treatment. The raccoon, which was hit on State Road 3 about a mile south of the Kennedy Space Center, has tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130227/NEWS01/130227017/Brevard-health-officials-announce-rabies-warning-area-near-KSC?nclick_check=1

0coonvsdog422 - CopyNew Jersey 02/27/13 Morris County: Denville Township officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a raccoon that attacked a dog in the vicinity of South Wynde Drive, behind the A&P, tested positive for the virus. – See http://newjerseyhills.com/the_citizen/news/denville-issues-rabies-alert/article_c50e06b4-811b-11e2-9b63-0019bb2963f4.html

North Carolina 02/28/13 Davidson County: A skunk found inside a dog lot in Churchland with a dog that had an expired vaccination has tested positive for rabies. The skunk was shot and killed by the dog’s owner. The dog thumbnailCA0KC8HVwas euthanized. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20130228/News/302289972

Texas 02/27/13 Somervell County: The Glen Rose animal control officer has issued a Rabies Alert after a skunk that was chasing people attending a birthday party tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.yourglenrosetx.com/news/community/article_f927db0a-8120-11e2-a475-0019bb2963f4.html

CALIFORNIA reports the lone WOLF known as OR-7 entered Butte County late last month ~ CALIFORNIA vector control officials trap DEER MOUSE infected with HANTAVIRUS ~ ALASKAN WOMAN survives GRIZZLY BEAR encounter shaken but unscathed ~ CANADA: SASKATCHEWAN confirms new case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE in an ELK ~ MOUNTAIN LION report from MT ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from FL (3), & MA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (2), ID, IL, LA (fatality), MS, NJ, NY, & SD.

Gray wolf (not OR-7). Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

California 07/14/12 redbluffdailynews.com: by Katy Sweeny – Anyone looking to find California’s lone wolf since it entered Butte County June 28 would have had little luck. The Department of Fish and Game’s website placed it in northeast Butte County, but DFG regional wildlife program manager Karen Kovacs said it was closer to Highway 70 along the Plumas County line. OR7 is the only wolf known to be in California, Kovacs said. The last confirmed wolf in the state was in 1924. The wolf’s collar showed since Monday it moved north in Butte County and crossed Thursday into northwestern Plumas County, Kovacs said. The 2-year-old wolf left his pack in Oregon to find a mate and start a new pack, Kovacs said. He crossed into California Dec. 28. While most wolves go no more than 100 miles, OR7 has traveled about 2,500 miles. – For complete article see http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/ci_21076254/lone-wolf-ventures-into-out-butte-county

Deer mouse. Courtesy CDC.

California 07/13/12 sandiego6.com: A wild deer mouse trapped in north Escondido during routine monitoring tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus, San Diego County vector control officials announced Friday. According to the county Department of Environmental Health, it is not easy for humans to contract hantavirus but if an infection does happen, it causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which is fatal 36 percent of the time. Department Director Jack Miller said infected mice, which are discovered every so often, are rarely a danger in the wild. “But hantavirus can be a danger if infected rodents get indoors and people come into contact with their droppings,” Miller said. “People should never sweep up or vacuum rodent droppings or nesting materials when they find them, but use bleach solutions and sponges or mops to carefully clean up instead.” The county’s website has detailed instructions online at sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/pests/hantavirus/wet-cleaning-method.html

Grizzly. Courtesy National Park Service.

Alaska 07/15/12 skyvalleychronicle.com: An Alaskan woman, Alyson Jones-Robinson had a recent terrorizing encounter with a grizzly bear that left her wising she had had a gun in her hand instead of insect repellant. How close was the bear to her during this encounter?  “It was a very surreal experience,” the 43-year-old Jones-Robinson told the Fairbanks Daily News Miner on Friday, a day after the ordeal. “All I could think about was this bear is so close to me I can see its teeth. I could have kissed it. I wished I had a gun.” Robinson was out hiking with her two nieces, 13 and 9, and her Husky dog Rowyn. They were hiking the 15-mile “Granite Tors Trail” in the Chena River State Recreation Area about 40 miles east of Fairbanks on Thursday. That’s when they were confronted on the trail by a young grizzly that Jones-Robinson estimated to be only 2 to 3 years old and maybe 100 to 200 pounds, not large as adult grizzlies go but the thing was that bear was big enough, aggressive, it would not back down and she knew they were all in trouble.

 The bear had bluff charged the group several times after they encountered it on the trail about five miles from the trailhead and it showed no fear of them or the dog. She told the newspaper it was so terrifying that on a scale of 1 to 10, it was above a ten. “I told the girls if the bear attacked me to take the dog and don’t look back, to get off the mountain and go until they found somebody,” Jones-Robinson told the newspaper At one point she fired off some bear spray but she fell backward on her pack and dropped the can of bear spray. The bear retreated for a moment but then came back and began circling Jones-Robinson, who then took her pack off and threw a package of macaroni and cheese at the bear hoping to distract it. As the bear circled she searched into the dog’s pack for the bottle of Natrapel, a natural mosquito repellent she uses because she’s allergic to traditional bug spray. When the bear tried to bite her dog, Jones-Robinson hit it in the head with her walking stick.  By now the girls were cowering behind their aunt, as was the dog. “It charged again, and I hit it over the head and held out my bug spray like this,” Jones-Robinson said, brandishing the bottle of Natrapel in front of her. “I hit it like three or four times.”

The dog, meanwhile, tried to attack the bear each time it charged, adding to the chaos but also possibly adding to the protection of the hiking group. She said after what seemed like an eternity the bear finally retreated and group continued toward the trailhead with Jones-Robinson carrying her broken walking stick and bottle of insect repellent. But it wasn’t over yet.  The bear followed the hikers for about a mile, bluff charging them several more times before it finally wandered off.  – For complete article see http://www.skyvalleychronicle.com/BREAKING-NEWS/GRIZZLY-ENCOUNTER-LEAVES-WOMAN-WISHING-SHE-HAD-A-GUN-INSTEAD-OF-INSECT-REPELLANT-1058527

Canada:

Saskatchewan 07/13/12cjme.com: by Ragnar Haagen – A new case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been confirmed within the past month. It is only the second case of CWD found this year, but both have been found in the Prince Albert district – which stretches approximately from Spiritwood to the Manitoba border. This is one of the three areas where the disease is present in the wild; the others are in the northwest and the southwest parts of the province. “In those three areas we have a lot of the disease in the wild and then it tends to spill over into farm animals, and in this case it was in that northeast area,” explained Alex McIsaac, a disease control veterinarian with the CFIA. The latest animal that tested positive was an Elk, and because there is no known treatment or cure for this relatively new disease there is an eradication policy in place when dealing with any possible outbreak. – For complete article see http://cjme.com/story/new-case-cwd-discovered-pa-district/65469

Mountain Lion Sighting:

Montana 07/14/12 Sidney, Richland County: The sheriff’s office notified local police of a mountain lion sighting in the Lone Tree Creek area off the Fifth St. S.W. extension by the back of the county fairgrounds. – See http://www.sidneyherald.com/news/article_df07a6a4-cd4a-11e1-b7a9-001a4bcf887a.html

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Glades County

Florida 07/13/12 Moore Haven, Glades County: FDACS officials have confirmed that a horse has contracted EEE. This is the 11th horse in the state to be reported with EEE infection with onset during 2012 and the first in Glades County. – See http://swflorida.blogspot.com/2012/07/glades-horse-contracts-rare-disease.html

Nassau County

Florida 07/13/12 Callahan, Nassau County: Two sentinel chickens have tested positive for EEE virus. – See http://www.fbnewsleader.com/articles/2012/07/12/news/00newsmosquitodisease.txt

Walton County

Florida 07/14/12 Walton County: Several sentinel chickens have tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.waltonsun.com/news/county-9344-walton-detected.html

Plymouth County

Massachusetts 07/13/12 Carver, Plymouth County: Five mosquitoes infected with EEE have been found and officials are bracing for a danger that has appeared early this year. – See http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120713/NEWS/207130328/1018/OPINION

West Nile Virus (WNV):

San Bernadino County

California 07/14/12 Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernadino County: WNV has been found in mosquitoes collected here near Base Line Road and Beryl Street in the first reported incident of West Nile this year. – See http://www.sbsun.com/breakingnews/ci_21075782/west-nile-virus-found-rancho-cucamonga-mosquitoes

Contra Costa County

California 07/13/12 Brentwood, Contra Costa County: WNV has been found in two birds and two mosquito samples. One mosquito sample was taken from Garin Parkway and Spruce Street and the other was taken from Chestnut Street and Sellers Avenue. A dead crow found July 2 at Balfour Road and Walnut Boulevard in Brentwood also tested positive, as did a dead crow found at Margie Drive and Susan Lane in Pleasant Hill. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21073203/west-nile-virus-found-mosquitoes-brentwood

Ada County

Idaho 07/13/12 Boise, Ada County: The first mosquitoes testing positive for WNV were trapped near the Expo Idaho fairgrounds, prompting a warning from health officials because the virus has been detected much earlier than last year when it didn’t show up in the state until August. – See http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2012/jul/13/mosquitoes-boise-fairgrounds-test-positive-west-nile-virus/

Kane County

Illinois 07/14/12 Kane County: Three more pools of mosquitoes collected this week in Aurora, Montgomery and Carpentersville have tested positive for WNV. – See http://batavia.patch.com/articles/more-kane-county-mosquitoes-test-positive-for-west-nile

Louisiana 07/14/12 Simpson, Vernon Parish: Former village postmaster Donnie Merchant, 68, has died due to complications after contracting WNV. There have been ten confirmed human cases of WNV in the state this year, including six that were announced on Friday. – See http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20120714/NEWS01/207140317/Ex-Simpson-postmaster-succumbs-West-Nile-virus?nclick_check=1

Mississippi 07/14/12 Lauderdale and Hancock counties: Health officials have confirmed two human cases of WNV in the state. – See http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=17808

Ocean County

New Jersey 07/13/12 Ocean County: A crow in Point Borough and a mosquito pool in Point Pleasant Beach have tested positive for WNV. – See http://pointpleasant.patch.com/articles/bird-tests-positive-for-west-nile-virus

Suffolk County

New York 07/14/12 Suffolk County: Six mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV in the county, including two in Nesconset. Positive samples were also found in Farmingville, Northport, Dix Hills, and Amagansett. – See http://smithtown.patch.com/articles/west-nile-virus-reported-in-nesconset

South Dakota 07/14/12 Beadle County: A healthy blood donor is the first known human case of WNV in the state this year. – See http://www.argusleader.com/article/20120714/NEWS/307140030/West-Nile-virus-lingers-S-D-?odyssey=nav|head&nclick_check=1

ALASKAN hiker survives BROWN BEAR attack ~ NORTH CAROLINA resident discovers very “BIG” BLACK BEAR in back yard ~ USDA announces new rules to limit spead of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ TEXAS confirms HUMAN case of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ ILLINOIS county reports MOSQUITO sample positive for WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA man bitten by RABID BAT while cleaning pool.

Brown bear. Photo by Alaska Public Lands.

Alaska 06/10/12 Chugach State Park, Anchorage: by Rebecca Palsha, ktuu.com  – An Eagle River man was attacked by a (brown) bear Sunday morning, about 7:40, on the Bird Creek trail about three miles from the trailhead. Alaska State Troopers say 30-year-old Ben Radakovich was hiking by himself, in the morning, when he came across a mother and her cub. Radakovich had pepper spray with him, but didn’t have time to use it before the bear attacked. Trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen says Radakovich has wounds to his to his head, neck and back from biting and scrapes. Ipsen says the attack happened really quickly and Radakovich curled into a ball. Ipsen says Radakovich told them the bear was batting and swatting him. After the attack he scrambled about 30 feet up a tree where he was able to call troopers. Radakovich told troopers he could hear the bear grunting and panting near-by. It took troopers about two hours to get to him. Radakovich was flown by Helo-1 to Providence Hospital. There has been no update on his condition.

North Carolina 06/10/12 Asheville, Buncombe County: by R.A. Kane – My wife and I (and both of our dogs) just saw a BIG black bear in our back yard. We live on the north side of Asheville and in the city limits. We’ve seen other bears, pretty much every summer and ranging from a mom w/ 3 cubs to a sleek 400# female to a grey-muzzled old male. My best guess is that down on all 4 feet, tonight’s bear was 4 1/2 ft tall at the shoulders and weighed in at 550 to 600 lbs.

National 06/11/12 cattlenetwork.com: The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Friday announced new rules to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), which affects cervids including deer, elk and moose. CWD is a lethal “transmissible spongiform encephalopathy” similar to BSE in cattle, although there is no evidence to date that CWD can spread to cattle or to humans. The new interim final rule will establish a national CWD herd-certification program and minimum requirements for interstate movement of cervid animals in the United States. Farmed or captive deer and elk have been, in numerous cases, implicated in the spread of CWD to wild herds, which has resulted in large-scale culling of animals and economic losses in areas where hunting generates significant revenue. According to APHIS, CWD has been reported in farmed or captive cervids in 11 states since testing began in 1997.

Whitetail buck with Chronic Wasting Disease.

Just last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation announced it will loosen deer-hunting restrictions in a six-county area in the northern part of the state for this fall, in response to the discovery of CWD in two deer killed during last-year’s hunting season. After that discovery, the department killed over 650 deer in the area and three of those tested positive for CWD. All of the infected wild deer were killed near a captive-deer facility where 11 animals previously tested positive for the disease. “It is important that we have a nationwide CWD herd certification program for farmed or captive cervids,” says USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford. “The amendments we are making to our CWD rule will help to control the spread of this disease, support the growing U.S. cervid industry, and complement existing state CWD programs.” APHIS is issuing the interim final rule and requesting public comment for 30 days. After reviewing the public comments, the Agency will issue a final rule and, should there be a need, incorporate any changes made in response to comments received by the Agency. The interim final rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Participating States then will have 180 days before APHIS begins enforcing the interstate movement provisions in the regulation.

Texas 06/11/12 Lantana, Denton County: Health officials confirm the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year. See http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/06/11/4023627/west-nile-case-confirmed-in-denton.html

Illinois 06/11/12 Peoria, Peoria County: Health officials have confirmed the first mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile Virus this year. – See http://www.pjstar.com/news/x2067833369/Mosquito-with-West-Nile-found-in-Peoria-County

California 06/09/12 Riverside, Riverside County: A bat that bit a man while cleaning a pool on June 6th has tested positive for rabies, and another bat suspected of being infected with the virus was found near Hemet, a county Animal Services spokesperson said. In the Hemet incident, a vaccinated dog was playing with a sick bat when it was bitten on June 5th.

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH developing new test to diagnose PRION diseases including CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ NEW JERSEY HORSE with EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS euthanized ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IL, PA, & TX ~ RABIES reports from IOWA, & CANADA: ONTARIO ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending May 26, 2012.

Cow moose with calf. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Global 06/06/12 nih.gov: News Release – A test being developed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists to quickly and accurately diagnose fatal brain diseases performed better than existing tests in a recent study of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are difficult to diagnose, untreatable, and ultimately fatal. Normally, prion protein molecules exist harmlessly in every mammal, but for reasons not fully understood, these molecules can develop abnormalities and gather in clusters. Scientists have associated the accumulation of these clusters with tissue damage that leaves microscopic sponge-like holes in the brain. Prion diseases include sCJD and variant CJD in people; scrapie in sheep; chronic wasting disease in deer, elk, and moose; and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in cattle. Because animals and people can be infected for years before clinical signs or symptoms appear, NIH scientists are developing a rapid and sensitive screening tool to detect prion diseases. Such a test would help prevent the spread of prion diseases among and between species. Of particular concern is the known transmission of variant CJD via blood transfusions. – For further details see http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/prion/Pages/diagnostics.aspx

New Jersey 06/06/12 nj.com: A 3-year-old horse from Burlington County was euthanized on May 27 after testing positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a serious, mosquito-borne illness in horses. “It is very early in the season to see Eastern Equine Encephalitis so horse owners need to be vigilant in vaccinating their animals against diseases spread by mosquitoes,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “We hope this incident will raise awareness about the need to protect our official state animal from this and other harmful diseases, especially since June is the Month of the Horse in our state.” EEE is preventable by vaccination, and effective equine vaccines for EEE and West Nile Virus, another mosquito-borne disease, are available commercially, the Department of Agriculture said. – For complete article see http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2012/06/burlington_county_horse_with_e.html

Illinois 06/05/12 Shawneetown, Gallatin County: State public health officials reported the first West Nile Virus positive mosquito batch in Southern Illinois this year. – See http://www.dailyregister.com/news/x492302404/West-Nile-virus-positive-mosquitoes-found-in-Shawneetown

Pennsylvania 06/06/12 Lackawanna County: A mosquito has tested positive for West Nile Virus about two months earlier than the county has seen in previous years. – See http://theabingtonjournal.com/stories/West-Nile-virus-test-positive,159872

Texas 06/06/12 cbs19.tv: Mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile virus in three area counties, according to the Texas Health Department. They were found in Fort Bend, Brazoria and Montgomery counties. The infected mosquitoes in Montgomery County were found in The Woodlands. Spraying is already under way on storm drains and streets in the areas where they turned up. No details have been released yet on the location of positive tests in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties.

Iowa 06/05/12 Fort Madison, Lee County: A stray cat picked up last Friday in southern Lee County has tested positive for rabies.- http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2012/06/05/news/dgc2659561.txt

Canada:

Ontario 06/05/12 Perth, Lanark County: The Perth District Health Unit is looking for a dog involved in a biting incident at Bedford Public School last week. The dog is described as a brown-and-white spaniel with a red collar. A young couple was playing ball with the dog in the schoolyard at the time of the incident, which happened around 8 p.m. on May 31. The health Unit is trying to determine if the dog has up-to-date rabies shots. If the dog is not found, the person who was bitten may need to receive rabies shots. Anyone who has seen a dog fitting this description should contact the health unit at 271-7600, ext. 252 or after hours at 1-800-431-2054.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending May 26, 2012:

Published June 1, 2012/ 61(21); ND-283-ND-296

Anaplasmosis . . . 9 . . . Florida, Maine (2), New York (2), Rhode Island (3), Vermont,

Babesiosis . . . 3 . . . New York (2), Rhode Island,

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Florida, 

Ehrlichiosis . . . 11 . . . Delaware, Florida, Missouri (5), New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee (2),

Giardiasis . . . 107 . . . Alaska (3), Arkansas, California (20), Florida (20), Iowa (4), Maryland (4), Michigan, Missouri (3), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), Nevada (3), New York (14), Ohio (5), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (8), Washington (10),

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 1 . . . Missouri, 

Lyme Disease . . .  124. . .  Delaware (2), Florida (6), Maryland (22), Missouri, Nebraska, New York (37), North Carolina (5), Oregon, Pennsylvania (31), Vermont (7), Virginia (10), Wyoming,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 36. . . Arkansas, Connecticut (3), Maine, Michigan (2), Missouri, New York (7), Texas (4), Vermont, Virginia (15), West Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 6. . . California, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee (3),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 20 . . . Alabama (6), Arkansas, Delaware, Florida (4), Missouri (3), Tennessee (4), Texas,

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Missouri.

ALASKA hunter survives KODIAK GRIZZLY attack with scalp wound ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: CALIFORNIA’s Siskiyou County to host presentation by WOLF expert Carter Niemeyer.

Grizzly. Courtesy National Park Service.

Alaska 05/01/12 alaskadispatch.com: by Craig Medred – Fairbanks hunter Rod Moretz apparently shot the trophy brown bear of his dreams on Kodiak Island Saturday, then became entangled in far more of an adventure than any hunter wants, according to reports from Alaska State Troopers. They indicate the 48-year-old hunter was approaching his kill when another bear bolted out of a den about 100 yards away and charged him at full bore. “Moretz tried to evade the charging bear,” a trooper dispatch said, “(but) the bear pounced on him and both rolled down a hill approximately 50 feet.” In the tumble, the bear lost contact with the hunter. When they stopped rolling, it jumped and ran back to the den. Further details are sketchy. Moretz, an engineer with the Bureau of Land Management in the Interior Alaska city and an active player in the local hockey league, could not be reached. Troopers said he was bitten on the head by the bear, but only suffered what were described as “minor scalp injuries.” His 13-year-old son bandaged him up at the scene, according to troopers. They then went about skinning the senior Moretz’s trophy. No attempt was made to shoot the bear which had charged. Nor, apparently, was there any call for help. The Moretzs apparently waited for their flight from Andrew Air, an air tax charter service out of Kodiak, to arrive on Sunday. They then flew back to Kodiak with the trophy, took the hide to the local office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to be sealed as required by law, and reported what had happened. Then the elder Moretz finally went to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center to have his wounds examined and treated. He was due back at work Tuesday in Fairbanks.

~ ANNOUNCEMENT ~

California 05/01/12 siskiyoudaily.com: by John Bowman – “The Siskiyou County Department of Agriculture wants you to have the facts so you know what to expect if wolves become established in Southern Oregon and Northern California,” stated a recent press release from the department announcing an upcoming presentation about wolves. At 6:30 p.m on May 10 at the Miners Inn Convention Center at 122 East Miner Street in Yreka, Carter Niemeyer – “an expert on wolf biology and a leading authority on wolves” – will give a presentation on the potential influences of wolves on the Siskiyou County ecosystem. Niemeyer has worked for the Department of Wildlife Services in Montana and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he helped develop wolf management plans in Idaho and Oregon. He will give a presentation on wolf behavior, wolf impacts on elk and deer populations, and procedures he has used to confirm wolf kills on livestock. In addition, he will answer specific questions from audience members about wolf management and their potential impacts on the local livestock industry.

Carter Niemeyer

Since it first entered Siskiyou County in December, gray wolf OR7 has wandered far and wide across Northern California, stirring up controversy in each of the counties it has crossed through and throughout the state. After spending most of March in Southern Oregon, OR7 ventured back into Siskiyou County on April 1 only to bounce back into Oregon on April 11 and again back into Siskiyou County on April 17. Since then, the wolf has wandered from northeastern Siskiyou County down to the southeastern section of the county and most recently into Southwestern Modoc county on April 27. – For complete article see http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/x206668624/Wolf-expert-to-speak-in-Yreka

CALIFORNIA military vets help to transition Alaskan WOLF-DOGS at rescue center ~ RABIES reports from ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, & WISCONSIN ~ CANADA: MANITOBA searching for ELK that escaped from SASKATCHEWAN farm to prevent spread of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

Wolf-Dog Hybrid. Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Follow-Up Reports:

(June 20, 2011: Alaska officials suspect animals at Wolf Country USA are illegal hybrids.)

Wolf-Dog Hybrid. Photo by Wisconsin DNR.

California 03/13/12 boston.com: by Sue Manning – It’s been three months since a California animal rescue center retrieved 29 wolf-dogs from an Alaska tourist attraction that had fought the state over owning, breeding and selling the wolf-hybrids. Chains were so deeply embedded in the necks of two of the animals that they had to be surgically removed. Many developed limps because they’d never used the pads of their feet. Now the task of taming the wolf-dogs has been given to three U.S. military veterans who say they can relate to the stress of trying to transition to a normal life. The program is called “Warriors and Wolves.” “I get along with the wolves,” said one of the three, Stanley McDonald, a 10-year Navy vet who has been foreman of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center in Frazier Park, about 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles, for 4 1/2 years. McDonald said he knows what it is like to be homeless, alone and lost. “They’ve been in a bad situation, which I’ve been in most of my life. Most of them are afraid, taken away from the only thing they knew,” he said. “A great number of people are coming back from a combat environment and that’s as stressful as can be. It’s difficult to transition from that to civilian life,” said William “Buzz” Varley, a Lockwood volunteer and retired Navy man who works for the California Department of Transportation.

The wolf-dogs are now thriving in small packs of two to six animals after joining 12 wolf-dogs already at the shelter, according to Lorin Lindner, who founded Lockwood with her husband, Navy veteran Matthew Simmons, in 2008. Lindner said the wolf-dogs, who normally travel up to 40 miles a day, had been tethered in Alaska. Once they had room to run at Lockwood, they went lame because their muscles were not acclimated to the exercise. “It’s taken three months, but we are just now noticing them running without limps,” Lindner said. The animals are fed high-priced, high-quality kibble made of buffalo, venison and game birds, in addition to five to 10 pounds of meat each day. As part of a landfill diversion program, markets in the area give the rescue group their expired meats “so we are not killing any additional animals to feed the wolf-dogs,” Lindner said. In Alaska, they had been fed raw moose meat to keep them looking good so tourists could get close enough to the animals to take their pictures for a $5 fee.

Before the wolf-dogs arrived, Lindner and Simmons were running the sanctuary on $10,700 a month. But with the new arrivals, that’s jumped to $15,500 a month, including salaries for the three veterans. To help pay the bills, Lindner and Simmons are inviting supporters of the sanctuary to volunteer, donate or sponsor a veteran or a wolf-dog or plant a fruit tree (it helps feed birds) in honor of a loved one. Lindner, Simmons, the vets and volunteers built enclosures for the animals on their 20-acre sanctuary. Standing 10 feet tall, the enclosures include dig guards that are buried 5 feet deep. Because some of the animals have bad hips and arthritis, Simmons is building soft-webbed trundle beds so they can sleep off the ground. They’ve put out a plea to firehouses since old fire hose makes the best webbing. Lindner’s veterinarian took the sickest wolf-dog (she has another hybrid) and four of the animals have gone to other rescues. Eight others will be placed with other sanctuaries if those centers can build the proper enclosures.

Besides the wolf-dogs, Lockwood has four rescued horses, 16 parrots, six peacocks and a duck. “We rescued 33 koi fish from a house that was in foreclosure. My husband made a 200,000-gallon pond and now we have thousands of fish,” Lindner said. Lindner and Simmons also built a parrot sanctuary at the Greater Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration Healthcare System complex, where Lindner worked as clinical director of New Directions, a program serving homeless veterans with drug or alcohol problems. McDonald, 48, is the wolf program’s biggest booster. He says he has been an alcoholic since he was 18. He spent 10 years in the Navy and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “I wasn’t a mean or angry drunk,” he said. “I would just take everything we had to buy alcohol.” Lindner met McDonald at New Directions, before “Warriors and Wolves.” McDonald says he’s learned from the animals and knew if he could help them, he could help himself. “I made a wonderful change,” he said. Since working with the animals, he’s begun reconciling with his ex-wife and reconnected with a son, now 19, whom he’d lost touch with. His son didn’t trust him at first, McDonald said. “It took some work by both of us. It took a lot of forgiving,” said McDonald. “I’m back with my family doing things I love to do.”

Arkansas 03/12/12 Boone County: Authorities have reported at least seven confirmed cases of rabies so far this year. A public health official said statewide 20 skunks have tested positive for rabies so far this year compared to 35 all of last year. See http://www.carrollconews.com/story/1825059.html

California 03/12/12 Hollister, San Benito County: A dead bat found at the Methodist Preschool on Monterey Street tested positive for rabies. Officials said there was no human exposure. A rabid bat was also found outside a classroom at San Benito High School six months ago. See http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/hollister-gilroy/Rabid-bat-found-at-Hollister-preschool/-/5738758/9281204/-/3nrhg/-/

Maryland 03/12/12 Elkton, Cecil County: Health officials say they’ve seen as many rabies cases so far this year as in all of last year. Four cases involving a skunk and three raccoons have already been confirmed. See http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20120312/NEWS01/120312036

Virginia 03/12/12 Bristol: Police are urging residents to be certain pets have been vaccinated after a skunk found in the 1700 block of Lee Highway tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wcyb.com/news/30662419/detail.html

Wisconsin 03/12/12 Madison, Dane County: City and county officials are looking for a dog that bit a woman on Paso Roble Lane on Sunday, March 11. The dog is described as a German Shepherd-type dog, black with grey in color and medium sized. He bit the woman while she was walking on the sidewalk. The dog was being walked on a leash by a man of medium height and build, possibly in his late 40s or early 50s, wearing a baseball hat and jacket. If the animal is not found, the victim may be required to complete a series of painful and costly injections to prevent rabies. Officials said that anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police and fire dispatcher at 608-255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer. See http://www.channel3000.com/news/30661465/detail.html

Canada:

Bull Elk. Courtesy National Park Service.

Manitoba 03/13/12 cbc.ca: Escaped elk from Saskatchewan are being hunted from the air by Manitoba’s Conservation Department. Conservation officials are using plane and helicopter surveillance over western Manitoba to kill at least nine escaped farm elk from Saskatchewan that could spread chronic wasting disease (CWD) to Manitoba’s wild elk, Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh said. The animals escaped from farms in Saskatchewan a year ago. Conservation spokesman Vince Crichton said crews are focused on areas near Swan River to root out the animals so they can be shot. “They’ve got the ear tags on them so it’s a matter of getting down close to look at individual animals and to herd the ones out that have the ear tag on them and, you know, put them down.”

Elk with CWD.

CWD is a fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of deer and elk. In the early 1980s, it was detected in free-ranging elk in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming. It has since been found in farmed-elk herds in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other jurisdictions. Many elk farms have had to destroy entire herds because of CWD. “Our diligence in monitoring and responding to the threat of chronic wasting disease has prevented it from spreading to Manitoba so far,” Mackintosh said. “We’ve seen the devastating effect the disease has had on wildlife in neighbouring jurisdictions and this latest action is essential to keep our elk healthy.” While CWD has become a serious problem in Saskatchewan and Alberta, no confirmed cases have been found in Manitoba. There is no evidence to show that CWD can affect humans but the World Health Organization recommends against consuming infected animals.

SOUTH DAKOTA helicopter crew working with researchers saves ELK from MOUNTAIN LION ~ ARIZONA retirement community resports MOUNTAIN LION sightings ~ Two upstate NEW YORK residents attacked and bitten by GRAY FOX ~ RABIES reports from ILLINOIS, MARYLAND, & NEW YORK (2).

Mountain Lion. Photo by Chris M G Pritchard. Wikimedia Commons.

South Dakota 03/06/12 rapidcityjournal.com: Officials say a helicopter crew at Custer State Park managed to prevent a repeat of an incident a year ago in which a hungry mountain lion helped itself to an elk that had been drugged for study researchers. The helicopter crew fires sedation darts at elk to help state researchers with a study of elk reproduction and calf survival in the western South Dakota park. Cow elk are sedated then fitted with implants and radio collars so they can be located after they give birth in the spring. Their calves are then fitted with radio collars so they can be tracked. Last year, one elk hit by a dart staggered into some vegetation and tipped over in front of a mountain lion that promptly turned it into lunch. It nearly happened again last week, Chad Lehman, senior wildlife biologist for the state Game, Fish and Parks Department, told the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/yJR4cZ). The helicopter crew on Feb. 26 had fired sedation darts to subdue an elk and then picked up Lehman and other wildlife officials for a ride to the animal.

“We were waiting for the shuttle when we heard the pilot say over the radio, `You guys aren’t going to believe this, but we just had a mountain lion attack one of your drugged elk,'” Lehman said. “We told them we could believe it, because last year we had a lion eat one of our drugged elk.” This time, the helicopter crew was able to drive the mountain lion away by buzzing low over the top of the animal and then hovering between it and the elk until the big cat gave up. “Last year, that elk had been under the drug for a while. It was almost asleep,” Lehman said. “This year, the elk had just been darted, and the lion came out of thick timber to chase it. The guys in the helicopter did a great job of separating the lion from the elk.” Lehman said researchers are grateful the helicopter crew was able to intervene this time around. “I don’t want to put elk in harm’s way by doing this research,” he said.

Arizona 03/06/12 Pine, Gila County: Mountain lion sightings reported in one of state’s rapidly growing retirement centers. See http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2012/mar/06/mountain-lions-spotted-pine-neighborhood/

New York 03/05/12 Auburn & Aurelius, Cayuga County: Two people were bitten by a gray fox in separate incidents last Sunday. An Auburn woman was attacked and bitten in her driveway in the morning, and that evening about a mile away an Aurelius man was bitten. The fox has not been captured but officials believe, if it had rabies, it’s probably already dead. See http://auburnpub.com/news/local/fox-bites-two-people-in-auburn-aurelius/article_15affb0a-66d2-11e1-82d0-0019bb2963f4.html

Illinois 03/05/12 Minooka, Grundy County: Officials are looking for a “smaller sandy colored dog, with black on its tail and paws” possibly a shepherd mix, that bit a woman in the vicinity of Sunflower Street last Friday. The woman is receiving PEP rabies shots, but authorities need to determine if the dog is a threat to public safety. Anyone who sees the dog or may have information regarding its whereabouts is encouraged to call the Grundy County Animal Control at (815) 942-9214. See http://www.morrisdailyherald.com/2012/03/05/doghunt-under-way-after-woman-bitten/a8dgf69/

Maryland 03/05/12 Frederick, Frederick County: Health officials are warning area residents of a raccoon picked up last week on East 16th Street that tested positive for rabies. See http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/state/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies

New York 03/05/12 Manheim, Herkimer County: Health officials are warning area residents that a skunk killed by two farm dogs has tested positive for rabies. The dogs were vaccinated. See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Residents-warned-to-be-cautious-of-wild-animals-after-farm-dogs-kill-rabid-skunk-in-Manheim-141470523.html

New York 03/06/12 Milford, Otsego County: A cat that bit a person has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Cat-Tests-Positive-for-Rabies-in-Otsego-County-141690983.html

FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: Celebrity WOLF OR-7 returns to OREGON without an Oscar ~ ILLINOIS city issues COYOTE warning ~ ARIZONA reports rapid rise of ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER ~ CANADA: YUKON xcountry ski club warns of WOLVES ~ RABIES reports from SOUTH CAROLINA, TEXAS, & VIRGINIA ~ BOOK REVIEW: Out of the Woods: Healing from LYME DISEASE and other Chronic Illness ~ CDC Reports: Results of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE study.

Gray Wolf. Courtesy National Park Service.

Follow-Up Reports:

(For previous reports on this topic use search term OR-7)

Oregon 03/02/12 or.gov: News Release – Wolf OR-7 was located in Oregon for the first time since late December at noon yesterday, March 1. As of midnight last night, OR-7 was in Jackson County, Oregon. OR-7 had been in northern Siskiyou County, California, less than 10 miles from the Oregon-California border, for the past 12 days. While OR-7 crossed a state boundary yesterday, his movement was small (about 30 miles). “While wolves crossing state boundaries may be significant for people, wolves and other wildlife don’t pay attention to state borders,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “It’s possible OR-7 will cross back into California and be using areas in both states. ODFW will continue to monitor his location and coordinate with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Fish and Game.” While OR-7 is west of Highways 395-78-95 in Oregon, he remains protected by both the federal and state Endangered Species Acts.

OR-7 left the Imnaha pack in September 2011 and went through Baker, Grant, Lake, Crook, Harney, Deschutes, Klamath and Jackson counties before entering California Dec. 28, 2011. While in California, he travelled through eastern Siskiyou County, northeastern Shasta County and then resided in Lassen County for a few weeks. On Feb. 11 he re-entered Shasta County and then, about a week later, he crossed north into Siskiyou County. California Fish and Game has been updating his status on the website  www.dfg.ca.gov/wolf/ For more information on wolves in Oregon visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/

Illinois 02/29/12 suntimes.com: The city issued a warning for residents Thursday — be on the lookout for coyotes. City officials said they have received 25 calls from residents since the beginning of the year reporting coyote sightings in residential areas. There has been a large increase in the coyote population in Illinois in the past two decades, especially in the Chicago area, city officials note. In Aurora, reported coyote sightings so far this year are on track to exceed 2011 when Animal Control fielded 53 such calls, officials said. Sightings have been reported on the city’s far southeast side where homes are adjacent to rural or wooded areas, and on the West Side. Animal Control officials said the increased sightings are not unusual at this time of year because the coyotes’ mating cycles result in younger animals leaving their family territories and venturing out on their own. Coyotes are mainly nocturnal animals but may be more visible during the daytime in spring and summer. While most coyotes are leery of people and tend to stay clear of humans, they can still be a danger, especially to young children, Animal Control officials warn. It is not unusual for coyotes to attack dogs and other pets. The most effective way to prevent attacks is to eliminate feeding coyotes either intentionally or accidentally. Coyotes can be attracted to bird and squirrel feeders, bread that is fed to ducks and geese, pet food that is left outside, and other unintentional food sources. When coyotes find these types of food in residential areas, they may lose their fear of humans and eventually test both people and pets as possible prey, officials said. Anyone approached by a coyote should yell, wave their arms, or throw an object at the coyote — but should never run away. Family pets like dogs and cats — especially small pets — should not be left unwatched while outside.  Residents who are attacked by a coyote, or who have a pet that is attacked, should contact Aurora Animal Control at 630-256-3630.

Brown Dog Tick.

Arizona 02/29/12 cronkitenewsonline.com: by Brittany Smith – Reported Arizona cases of a potentially fatal disease spread by ticks have increased steadily over the past decade and spiked within the last two years. With temperatures warming, state and federal officials say those heading into the outdoors should be aware of the danger. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is an infection that in Arizona is spread primarily by the common brown dog tick, which is common in higher elevations. The ticks often attach to dogs and can then move over to people. Will Humble, director of the state Department of Health Services, said Arizonans need to manage their pets in the outdoors to keep the disease from spreading. “If everyone used tick collars on their dogs, I think we’d have a lot fewer cases,” Humble said. “People may not realize that if they take their Phoenix dog to the high mountain they need to use a tick collar.”

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever petechial rash

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever first appeared on the department’s radar in 2002. Since then, the number of reported cases in the state has steadily increased, with 23 cases reported in 2009 and 52 cases in 2011. There was one known death in 2009 and five known deaths in 2011, according to the state health department. Most cases have been in eastern Arizona, but Humble said there are now cases being reported in southern Arizona. – For complete article see http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/02/rise-of-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-has-officials-urging-caution-outdoors/

Canada:

Yukon 03/02/12 cbc.ca: The Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club has posted “wolves in the area” signs for the first time ever after some unusual encounters between wolves and skiers on a couple of the trails. The operations manager for the ski trails, Mike Gladish, says it’s not unusual for wolves to be on the trails. He often sees their tracks. “But there were a couple of sightings last week where one skier had an encounter with two wolves that kind of stood their ground and then we had another skier notice a wolf behind her for a couple of kilometres.” Gladish said the encounters were on the Pierre Harvey Loop and the 10 K. Robyn Dunfield regularly skis at Mount MacIntyre, towing her two children. The youngest is just four months old. She said she is now sticking to a well-travelled route close to the chalet. “It makes me very nervous,” she said. “I don’t know a lot about wolves, but I also don’t want to encounter them ever.”  Mike Gladish said this is the first time wolf warnings have been posted on the trails, but adds it’s no different from other safety advisories.

South Carolina 03/02/12 Columbia, Lexington & Richland Counties: A third fox attack in two weeks has another area resident, this time a firefighter, receiving post-exposure prophylaxis rabies treatments. A gray fox bit Robert Adkins, 20, as he walked away from a fire training site near a wooded area on Ball Park Road. See http://www.thestate.com/2012/03/02/2173809/another-fox-attack-reported.html

Texas 03/01/12 College Station, Brazos County: Officials are looking for a brown Dachshund that bit a person in the 400 block of Walton Drive so they can confirm the dog’s rabies vaccination status. See http://www.theeagle.com/local/Search-under-way-for-dachshund-that-bit-College-Station-homeown–7005320

Virginia 03/01/12 Pittsylvania/Danville Health District: A rabies alert has been issued for residents of Franklin Turnpike after a second skunk tested positive for the virus this week. See http://www2.wsls.com/news/2012/mar/01/skunk-tests-positive-rabies-pittsylvania-county-ar-1732851/

Book Review:

Out of the Woods: Healing from Lyme Disease and other Chronic Illness by Katina I. Makris – Review by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson: When a healer and a health care columnist spends several years completely baffled and in absolute torment, chances are that her mysterious flu-like illness is something that is truly difficult to diagnose. It took Katina Makris five years to receive a correct diagnosis, and a long time to even partially recover from it. Her journey is described beautifully in Out of the Woods, which encompasses both her memoirs and an eye-opening “Nuts and Bolts” section on signs, symptoms, and available treatments for Lyme disease. There were many valuable lessons to be learned from this beautifully written book. Some were rather obvious ones about cherishing what we have, since it could so easily be gone the very next moment, the importance of having a good support system and the need to work with one’s doctor(s). Then there were those that should be obvious, but many times are not, like the importance of being persistent in trying to get your point across to the doctor when one does not feel that the real issue is being addressed. – For complete review see http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Book-Review-Out-of-the-Woods-Healing-from-Lyme-3371247.php

CDC Reports:

North America & South Korea cdc.gov: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 18, Number 3 – March 2012: Abstract – Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal, transmissible prion disease that affects captive and free-ranging deer, elk, and moose. Although the zoonotic potential of CWD is considered low, identification of multiple CWD strains and the potential for agent evolution upon serial passage hinders a definitive conclusion. Surveillance for CWD in free-ranging populations has documented a continual geographic spread of the disease throughout North America. CWD prions are shed from clinically and preclinically affected hosts, and CWD transmission is mediated at least in part by the environment, perhaps by soil. Much remains unknown, including the sites and mechanisms of prion uptake in the naive host. There are no therapeutics or effective eradication measures for CWD-endemic populations. Continued surveillance and research of CWD and its effects on cervid ecosystems is vital for controlling the long-term consequences of this emerging disease. – For complete report see http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/18/3/11-0685_article.htm#suggestedcitation