New Jersey officers believe BEAR that killed a HORSE is also dead ~ Pennsylvania DEER farmer loses 90% of herd to EHD ~ Seven California HORSES have WEST NILE VIRUS ~ Mississippi confirms nine new HUMAN cases of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ Officials believe two Virginia children contracted DENGUE FEVER in The Bahamas ~ RABIES reports from Alabama, New Jersey, and Virginia ~ and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from New York (2) ~ Canada: Officials shoot MOUNTAIN LION seen stalking HUMANS.

Black bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

New Jersey 09/17/11 by Steven Reilly – The bear that attacked and killed a pony on a Frankford farm Friday morning is still at large, but State Police and New Jersey Fish and Wildlife officers suspect the shotgun blast Nick Civitan managed to get off mortally wounded the bruin. Civitan has been over his property with neighbors a few times looking for the bear, or any sign of which way it went after the early-morning encounter, but so far there are no clues. “The fish and game people told me to keep an eye on the turkey vultures and watch where they start to circle,” Civitan said. The use of traps has been ruled out, Civitan said, based on the size of the bear. “They figured a bear that size doesn’t get to be that size by doing something stupid like climb in a trap,” Civitan said. “The wildlife officer said that the trauma from the shotgun shot would also help prevent the bear from coming back here.” The extraordinary behavior of the bear was tied to the sudden cold weather over the past two nights, Civitan said he was told. With temperatures dropping to the mid-40s, the bear’s natural instinct to consume as many calories as possible to gain weight kicked in and that led to the bold attack on Friday.

Pennsylvania 09/15/11 by Gary R. Blockus – Larry Kleintop stood in his barn on Wednesday night and pointed out a picture his cousin had taken in August. He looked at it with pride, but with a tear in his eye. Kleintop, of Danielsville, is a dairy farmer with more than 400 head of cattle, but he is better known as the owner of Mountain View Deer Farm. At the end of July, he had a herd of 100 deer, which are used for breeding or sold to preserves and ranches. Kleintop touched the photo of a massive deer and said, quietly, “This was going to be my first 500-pound deer.” The 3-year-old buck weighed 458 pounds and had 57 points. “This one just started growing,” he said sadly of the biggest deer he had raised in 33 years of operation. “It would have continued to grow until the beginning of October.” Instead, the monster buck succumbed to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, as did 89 of the herd, from Aug. 1 through Sept. 1. It’s the first outbreak of EHD in Pennsylvania since 2007, according to the state Game Commission. Outbreaks also have been confirmed in New York and New Jersey (see Sept 1, 2011 post: Dead DEER in New Jersey may be victims of MIDGE FLIES). It’s particularly alarming in Pennsylvania, where the archery season for antlerless deer hunting opens locally on Saturday. And, although officials say EHD is not a public health issue, they advice against eating the meat of animals that were ill.

EHD is a virus transmitted by midges, tiny flies that are most often called gnats or no-see-ums. The virus is prevalent in the South, where deer have built up a resistance and it is not as lethal as it is in areas of the Northeast. One of the veterinarians Kleintop uses to help breed his deer theorized the hurricane and tropical storm winds from the South brought the virus-carrying midges. Tropical birds, such as sooty terns, and seafaring birds such as the jaeger and frigate bird, were sighted near Philadelphia following Hurricane Irene’s passing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The virus is restricted to cervids, the family of mammals composed of deer, elk and moose, and it does not infect other mammals, including humans. The 400 head of cattle that Kleintop maintains as a dairy farmer cannot contract the disease. – For complete article go to,0,6463707.story

California 09/19/11 by Erica Larson – Seven horses in California have been confirmed positive for West Nile virus (WNV) so far in 2011, according to a statement from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). One of the seven was euthanized as a result of the disease, the statement said, while the other six animals are recovering. The statement reported that the affected animals are located in the following counties: Fresno (two confirmed cases), Kern, Los Angeles, Placer, Merced, and Tulare. The report did not note if the WNV-positive horses had been vaccinated against the disease.

Mississippi 09/19/11 News Release – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports nine new human West Nile virus (WNV) cases in Forrest, Hinds, Jasper, Jones, Lincoln, Madison (3), and Rankin counties, bringing the state’s total to 33 for 2011. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Forrest (4), Hinds (5), Jones (4), Madison (5), Pearl River (6), Rankin (2) and one case each in Coahoma, Jasper, Lincoln, Tallahatchie, Tate, Wayne, and Washington counties. Two deaths have been confirmed, in Jones and Pearl River counties. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Virginia 09/18/11 by Beth Lawton – Two children from Northern Virginia—one from Lorton, the other from Springfield—have recovered from Dengue fever. Both had vacationed separately in the Bahamas this summer and were sick upon returning to the United States, The Washington Post reported. Both the 14-year-old boy from Lorton and the 10-year-old boy from Springfield have fully recovered.

Alabama 09/16/11 News Release – A hunting dog and a rabid raccoon became involved in a struggle within the Talladega city limits recently, with each animal biting one another. The raccoon died, and the dog’s owner followed through by bringing the dead raccoon’s body to his veterinarian for rabies testing. Public health authorities recommend that anyone touching a dead animal use caution, wear gloves, and remove and place the carcass in a bag before transporting it. For additional information please contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Communicable Disease, Division of Epidemiology, at 1-800-677-0939 or Alita Chappell, Environmental Services, Talladega County Health Department, (256) 362-2593.

New Jersey 09/17/11 The city’s Health Department is warning people to be vigilant after a man was attacked Tuesday by a rabid black cat on East Avenue, between Garden and Forest Grove roads. The man alerted the city’s animal control officer after the cat scratched him while he was getting into his car, said Jeannie Garbarino, the city’s principal environmental health specialist. An animal control officer was able to capture the cat and the city’s health department got the animal tested for rabies. The state Department of Health and Senior Services Rabies laboratory confirmed Friday the cat was rabid and the man is getting treatment to prevent further complications, Garbarino said. State health officials note cats have accounted for 90 percent of the domestic animal rabies cases in New Jersey since 1989. For the last five years there has been an average of 17 cats infected with rabies annually, according to state health statistics. Any bite involving a human, a pet, or a dead animal should be reported to the health department at (856) 794-4131.

Virginia 09/17/11 A bat found dead in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Virginia’s Lee County has tested positive for rabies. The Virginia Department of Health says the rabid bat was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bat was found in a cave last month by a National Park Service employee. Health officials serving Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the city of Norton are asking residents and visitors to leave live bats alone, avoid touching dead bats and make sure their pets are vaccinated against rabies.

New York 09/18/11 by Ria Pael – According to a recent statement by the Columbia County officials, a crow has tested positive for the West Nile virus in Valatie. Reporting about the infected crow, the Columbia County Health Department has also added that, thus far, there has been no detection of the West Nile virus in the residents of the Valatie area.

New York 09/18/11 by Steve Virkler – The state Department of Health on Monday notified Lewis County Public Health that a mosquito sample collected in the town of Lowville during routine surveillance activities this summer had tested positive for West Nile virus. No cases of the virus in humans or other animals have been reported. According to Times records, this is the first reported instance of the disease in Lewis County since a crow in Lowville tested positive in 2006. A crow in Watertown tested positive for the virus in 2007.


British Columbia 09/18/11 Parks Canada officials shot and killed a cougar Saturday evening after it was spotted stalking people on Cox Bay Beach in Tofino. The cougar “posed a risk to public safety” because it continued to stalk several adults throughout the day, Parks Canada said in a statement. Parts of Pacific Rim National Park have been under a wolf and cougar advisory since Aug. 13 due to increase in “carnivore activity.” The advisory remains in effect, Parks Canada said. Anyone who spots a cougar in Pacific Rim National Park should call 1-877-852-3100. Cougars spotted outside the park should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.


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