Coyote reports from California, Florida, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington; Rabies reports from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Oregon; and a Travel Warning for Bolivia.


Coyote. Photo by Marya. Wikipedia Commons.


California 02/11/11 by Jessica Bernstein-Wax – A coyote has been prowling the streets of Marinwood, killing two cats owned by one family and causing neighbors to worry about the safety of other small animals and children.  About 10:15 a.m. Monday, the Marin Humane Society received a report of a coyote in the 2500 block of Opalstone Terrace, society spokeswoman Carrie Harrington said. Neighbors told the responding officer that the coyote had attacked a cat, killing it.  “The coyote chased the cat basically back onto the property of the owners,” Harrington said. “There was a neighbor who saw what happened and was trying to get the coyote to release, which it did, but it was unfortunately too late for the kitty.”  Resident Jim Thompson said the cat was a gray long-haired female called Alias that belonged

3268zauber. Wikipedia Commons.

to his family. About three weeks earlier, the neighbors across the street had seen a coyote believed to be the same animal scamper down the street at around 7:30 a.m. with another of Thompson’s cats in its mouth.  That cat, a fluffy yellow male called Big Boy, hasn’t been seen since.   Mike Colonna, one of the neighbors who saw the 40- to 50-pound light brown coyote run off with Big Boy, said he and his wife were babysitting a young child when they spotted the animal and immediately got in their car for safety.  “The coyote both times was in the street,” Colonna said. “We’re concerned this thing probably thinks it has a feeding ground.  We’ve got a lot of kids in the neighborhood.”   Thompson said he previously let his cats roam free, but began letting them out only at certain times after the first attack. Now he and his wife, Barbara, are trying to keep their remaining felines in the backyard.   “It’ll be back,” Thompson said of the coyote. “He’s pretty brazen now.”  The humane society generally advises residents to keep domestic cats indoors, walk dogs on leashes and avoid feeding pets outdoors, especially in areas with wildlife such as coyotes and mountain lions. Experts say that if a

Photo by Panther. Wikipedia Commons.

coyote approaches you, try to make noise and appear large by shouting and waving your arms.  “All across the county there’s obviously a lot of coyote and mountain lion sightings, which is a good sign — it’s good when you live in an area where the ecosystem is healthy,” Harrington said. “It is the time of year that’s known as mating season, so coyotes tend to be more active and more vocal at this time of year.”  She said she wasn’t aware of any other recent incidents of coyotes killing cats in the county.  Colonna and Thompson have been trying to alert other neighbors about the coyote, knocking on doors and passing out fliers.   “Our main concern is just letting people know to be careful,” Barbara Thompson said. “It’s a (food) chain — cats go after birds. But it doesn’t make you feel better.”  The Marin Humane Society tracks all wildlife sightings and is asking anyone who sees a coyote or mountain lion to call 883-4621.

Florida 02/11/11 A Putnam County resident is receiving rabies vaccine after being bitten by a fox or coyote, health officials say.  There have been six reports of “aggressive animal behavior” by foxes, raccoons and coyotes in West Putnam toward humans and other animals, Kena Foster, Putnam County Health Department director of nursing, said in a statement Thursday.  “Everyone should be advised to avoid contact with any animal they do not know,” she said.  Residents are urged to contact animal control (329-0396) “if suspicious or unusual behavior is seen in any domestic, stray, or wild animal.”  Animal bites should be reported to the Health Department by calling 329-3200.  A rabies alert was issued for the same area of West Putnam in April 2010.

Georgia 02/10/11 Southwest Public Health District Release – Positive cases of rabies have cropped up in Southwest Georgia recently, including one here, says Grady County Health Department Environmental Health Specialist Shane Huey, who reminded pet owners that keeping vaccinations up-to-date is the best protection against the disease.  He said a case of rabies was confirmed in January in an unvaccinated pet dog in Grady County. Unfortunately, not only did the dog die, but the pet’s family was exposed to the disease, said Huey.  In addition, since the first of the year, environmental health specialists at the Grady County Health Department have investigated reports of animal bites by four dogs and a cat, none of which were current on their rabies vaccinations.  “These are all pets or neighbors’ pets,” Huey said. “I don’t believe anyone would want their animal to have to be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days or a maximum of six months and feel the anxiety of not knowing if they might have contracted rabies themselves.”

Illinois 02/10/11 by Mike Trotter – The Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare was notified on 1/27/11 by the Illinois Department of Public Health that a sample submitted from a bull located in Macon county was positive for rabies.  The bull appeared normal just one day before being found down and bellowing.  When an examination was attempted, the animal became aggressive and a decision was made to euthanize the bull.   Samples have been submitted to CDC to determine the strain of virus.  At this point in time, the source of the exposure is unknown.  While state law only requires rabies vaccination of dogs, now would be a good time to discuss vaccination of other animals for which there is an approved vaccine.  In addition, you may want to discuss limiting the opportunities for exposure by reducing potential contact between wildlife and domestic animals.  Please remember to keep rabies on the list of differential diagnoses when presented with any animal exhibiting abnormal behavior or neurologic signs.   The last rabies positive domestic animal in Illinois was reported in 2005 in a bovine that had been pastured in both Bureau and LaSalle Counties.  In 2004, a horse was confirmed positive in LaSalle County.

Maryland 02/13/11 by Stephanie Mlot – A Libertytown cat tested positive Thursday for the rabies virus, according to the Frederick County Health Department.  The Maryland State Rabies Lab reported that the small, domestic, short-hair cat was picked up Tuesday on South Street, between Liberty Road and Mill Street, in Libertytown.  Residents who believe they or their pets have been in contact with the rabid cat between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8 are encouraged to consult with a physician or veterinarian, and to notify the Health Department at 301-600-1715. Human cases of rabies are fatal if left untreated, according to the Health Department.  “To protect your family from possible rabies exposure, do not touch or play with wild or stray animals and make sure that your pets are currently vaccinated,” George Keller, director for the Health Department’s Environmental Health Services, said in a department news release.  To report a stray animal, call an animal control officer at 301-600-1544.

Massachusetts 02/11/11 by Sarah Favot – The two coyote sightings reported in Milton police incident logs over the past week were nothing out of the ordinary, according to the department’s animal control officer.   “We’ve been having coyotes for years, and we’ve had no more and no less,” said Officer Linda Kippenberger. “They’re a very constant presence in Milton, and they are everywhere.”   The two recent sightings were in a backyard on Pierce Street on Feb. 4 and on Brush Hill Road on Feb. 8.  Kippenberger said that people in areas around the Blue Hills Reservation and Curry College are most likely to spot the animal.  The most important safety advice she gives residents who call the police or the Milton Animal League to report a coyote is to treat it as a wild animal and not try to tame it.  “I tell people to do all you can, not to attract them,” said Kippenberger. 

Massachusetts 02/10/11 by Victoria Parsons – Sudbury – A raccoon submitted on Feb. 9, 2011 by the Board of Health to the State Laboratory tested positive for rabies. Residents need to be aware that rabies cases may occur in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, woodchucks and foxes. Rabies in Sudbury has generally occurred in cycles every few years, therefore a positive test warrants increased awareness by residents.

North Dakota 02/10/11 by Todd Kurtz – A South Fargo woman witnessed nature’s harvest. A coyote killing a deer, right out her window, and she captured it with her camera.  These photos were taken from a house on the Fargo Country Club. The photographer and owner of the home has asked to not be on camera.  The woman told us she glanced out her window Monday afternoon and noticed what she thought were two deer on a dead sprint toward her home. By the time the animals were 20 yards away; she had her camera, and realized it was a coyote hunting a deer.  She says the deer fought off the coyote for about 15 minutes, but in the end it was too much.  Doug Leier: “From a biologist standpoint, I think it’s really neat to be able to see the circle of life.”  Doug Leier is with North Dakota Game and Fish. He says it’s not that rare for a coyote to capture and kill a deer that close to homes. He says the only thing that is uncommon is someone witnessed it.  “What’s going on is that the weak are prayed upon in the predator world by the strong and the strong will survive.”  Leier says throughout the U.S., it is common for coyotes to be in urban areas. They’re scavengers that mostly feed on rodents, all while keeping in the shadows, away from human eyes. He says in this case, the coyote felt the reward was worth the risk of going into the open.  “When they see a weak deer, a sick deer to them, it equals something more of almost a virtual buffet where they can expend as little bit of energy for a long term pay off.”  All that’s left today is a pile of the deer’s fur. The morning after, the kill maintenance workers with the country club came and took away the remains. They say only half the deer was left.  “Nature is violent in that circle and sometimes more violent than what people like to realize.”  These are pictures from today. The coyote continues to return to the scene, wondering where its week long buffet disappeared to. For now the coyote won’t be trapped or shot. It’s not seen as a danger to society.To view video go to:

Oregon 02/13/11 by Mark Freeman – A coyote found drooling and rolling around on the ground Monday near a Cave Junction cemetery has become the 10th animal in Josephine County to test positive for rabies over the past 13 months, officials said.  The coyote, found near the Laurel Hill Cemetery, was the first coyote discovered with rabies in the Cave Junction area, where seven foxes and one goat have all died from the disease.  The other rabies victim was a fox near Merlin.  The coyote has yet to be tested to determine whether it contracted the same strain of bat rabies found in the other dead animals, said Colin Gillin, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s state wildlife veterinarian.  Gillin said Friday’s medical confirmation does not surprise him and it shows there are likely other animals and species of animals that have contracted rabies in the Cave Junction area.  “Maybe we hit the jackpot and it’s the only one,” Gillin said. “But normally, when you find it, it’s in others. We don’t get that lucky, statistically.”  If it is the bat strain as expected, the coyote could have contracted it from eating an infected bat — the common theory biologists have for the dead foxes, Gillin said.  But more likely, it could have contracted it from contact with a fox, skunk “or something we haven’t found yet,” Gillin said.  The animal was seen in the area rolling and drooling by a woman who reported it to OFDW wildlife biologist Steve Niemela.  Niemela said he drove from White City to Cave Junction and discovered the coyote alive and in brush near the cemetery. He killed it with a shotgun and sent the body off for testing.  Anyone who finds a peculiarly acting animal is urged to keep clear of it and telephone ODFW biologists at 541-826-8774.

Washington 02/12/11 West Seattle Blog reported a coyote spotted as she and her dog were headed out for a walk at 17th and Brandon.  For photos go to:

Travel Warnings:

Bolivia 02/11/11 150 confirmed and 472 suspected cases of dengue in Santa Cruz have caused the government of this Eastern Bolivian state to declare a red alert. Hospitals have been instructed to provide free health care to anyone with symptoms of dengue.


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