British Columbian survives Black Bear attack; Californians say Coyotes have killed four pet dogs in their town; West Nile Virus reports from California, Connecticut, and New Jersey; and a Rabies report from West Virginia. Canada: West Nile Virus reports from Ontario (2).

Black bear. PD. Courtesy U.S. Air Force.

British Columbia 08/08/11 cbc.ca: A mother black bear that was shot and killed after it attacked a man in the Metro Vancouver suburb of Anmore had been a fixture in the community, said the mayor. But Heather Anderson said the mother bear had become more aggressive recently, and may have even tried to get into a freezer in a local garage. Anderson saw the bear and her three cubs walk through her yard in the northern Vancouver suburb this past May. “She’s been in the village, throughout the village, quite extensively in the last probably two, three weeks, especially,” said Anderson. Anderson said she figures the mother bear was looking for food because salmon-berry season is over and blackberry season has yet to begin.

The attack took place just after 7 a.m. Monday in the small, suburban Vancouver community of Anmore, which is home to the popular recreation area of Buntzen Lake. Ken Hogue was out walking his dog near the entrance to Buntzen Lake when he spotted the mother bear and its three cubs, the RCMP said. “As I come over the crest of the hill, the mother bear turned around and saw myself and my dog so she made a beeline straight for us, so I dove down a small embankment just off the road there but she was on us like in a matter of seconds,” Hogue said. “It sort of nudged my dog … and then it came right at me … the mother bear was right on top of me and she clawed me on my right arm and just sort of stood over me, almost face to face. And so I was just waiting for her to sort of finish the job.” Hogue lay on the ground for several excruciating minutes, waiting for the bear’s next move. “Basically, I just waiting for her jaws to come down and sort of finish the job.… Basically, that’s what was going through my mind: Is this how I’m going to end my life? Being killed by a bear?” When nothing happened, Hogue slowly looked up and saw the mother bear slowly walking away, glancing back at him every few seconds. Hogue grabbed his dog and started moving slowly back up the embankment, when the dog escaped his arms — once again drawing the attention of the mother bear. “Fortunately, my next door neighbour came by in his car and so I waved at him. I said, ‘Help. I’ve been attacked by a bear,'” Hogue said. The car was enough to scare the bear away, and Hogue’s neighbour called 911.

He was taken to the hospital with just a few scratches on his arm and a deep gash on his head, where he struck a rock while scrambling to get away from the bear. “I’m just glad that it didn’t go any further or was any worse than what it is,” Hogue said. “I believe I was very, very fortunate that no more damage was done.” The mother bear was shot and killed by conservation officers, stranding her three cubs in a tree in a trailer park near the entrance to Buntzen Lake. The officers later shot tranquillizer darts into the cubs, which then fell from the trees. If the animals are not old enough to fend for themselves after being relocated in the wild, the animals will be taken to a wildlife shelter. The bear charged the man and knocked him to the ground. It was only after a driver in a passing vehicle repeatedly honked his horn that the animal was scared away.

California 08/07/11 go.com: Another dog has been killed in a coyote attack in an Altadena neighborhood, marking the fourth in the area. In the latest attack early Friday, Diane and Verne Williams’ family dog Abby went outside into the yard through a doggie door at about 5 a.m. The dog was found dead, her neck mangled. It happened at Braeburn Road and Mendocino Street not far from three earlier attacks. Coyotes have killed three dogs in the 1100 block of Mendocino Street since early July.

California 08/08/11 cbslocal.com: Los Angeles County health officials confirmed the first two human cases of West Nile virus in the county this season. Both patients are middle-aged men with pre-existing health conditions and were hospitalized, according to the county Department of Public Health. Health officials said there currently are ten confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in the state.

Connecticut 08/08/11 ct.gov: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in nine towns from July 25 to August 1, 2011 tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Litchfield, New Canaan, Stratford, and Woodbridge by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. In 2011, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 15 municipalities: Bridgeport, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hamden, Litchfield, New Britain, New Canaan, Orange, Stamford, Stratford, Westport, and Woodbridge. No Connecticut residents have been identified with illnesses related to WNV infections this year. In 2010, WNV-positive mosquitoes were trapped in 24 municipalities with eleven reported human cases. For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at http://www.ct.gov/mosquito.

Mercer County

New Jersey 08/08/11 nj.us: News Release – The state’s first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) is a reminder to all residents of New Jersey that they should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. A 50 year-old man from Hamilton Township, Mercer County who developed West Nile Virus was not hospitalized and is recovering at home. He developed symptoms in July including fever, fatigue, headache, joint pain and numbness in his hands.  “West Nile virus is seen most often during New Jersey’s mosquito season in late summer and early fall,” said Acting Commissioner Dr. Tina Tan.  “The Department urges everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites by applying insect repellant wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible.” Last year, 30 cases of West Nile Virus, including two deaths, were reported to the Department.

West Virginia 08/06/11 reviewonline.com: by Nancy Tullis – Hancock County health officials have confirmed that a bat in Chester was found to have rabies, and are urging residents to make sure pets are vaccinated against the disease. To report animal bites contact one of the following numbers: Hancock County Dog Warden, (304) 564-3311 Ext 292; Hancock County Sheriff Office or the Hancock County Health Department, (304) 564-3343.

Canada:

Ontario 08/08/11 mykawartha.com: Mosquitoes in the City of Peterborough have tested positive for West Nile virus. The Peterborough County-City Health reports the mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus were trapped on Aug. 2 and 3 in the city. These are the first two positive mosquito pools found in the City of Peterborough this year. As of last week, 11 positive mosquito pools had been found in Ontario.

Ontario 08/08/11 cd989.com: by Ashley DeGroote – West Nile has been found in Brantford. This comes after a batch of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus, though no humans have tested positive at this time. It is the first positive mosquito test in three years for the city.

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