Report released on fatal GRIZZLY attack in July on Yellowstone’s Wapiti Lake Trail ~ Florida residents seeing record number of BLACK BEAR ~ Third child in Colorado town attacked by COYOTE in two months ~ LYME DISEASE most commonly reported vector-borne illness in U.S. ~ Yale researchers find new strain of Borrelia bacteria in TICKS that carry LYME DISEASE ~ Animal Control Officer in Houlton, Maine, trapping a bumper crop of SKUNKS this year ~ WEST NILE REPORTS from Illinois, and Massachusetts ~ and a RABIES report from New Jersey ~ Travel Warnings: New outbreak of H5 BIRD FLU in India.

Grizzly. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Yellowstone National Park 09/20/11 News Release – A report by an interagency investigation team into a July fatal bear attack in Yellowstone has been released. The report reviews the events surrounding the July 6, 2011, incident which occurred along the Wapiti Lake Trail near Canyon Village in Wyoming. The attack by a sow grizzly resulted in the death of 58 year old Brian Matayoshi of Torrance, California. The investigation team report is available online at  The complete National Park Service Case Incident Report and an audio recording of the 911 call made by nearby hikers who heard the attack has also been released. The Case Incident Report and the 911 call are available at

Florida 09/20/11 Panhandle residents are reporting a record number of bear sightings to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials. Commission officials told the Pensacola News Journal on Monday that most of the sightings are from Santa Rosa County in an area surrounding the Eglin Air Force Base Reservation. The area is heavily wooded but has seen some development in recent years. Sarah Barrett, a specialist with the commission’s Bear Management Program, says the bears need a lot more food this time of year because they are trying to bulk up for winter. She says the Bears’ increased food scavenging coupled with the growing human population has led to more bear sightings.  The good news is that there has never been a report of an unprovoked bear attack in Florida.

Colorado 09/20/11 Another child has been bitten by a coyote in Broomfield — the third such attack this year. The most-recent incident happened around 7:30 p.m. Monday in the northeast section of the Anthem subdivision, according to Broomfield police. A family was in their back yard, which backs up to open space but only has a split rail fence, when a coyote came into the yard and bit their 3-year-old daughter on the knee, police said. The girl screamed, and the coyote ran away. The girl was treated for minor injuries at an urgent care center. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill confirmed Tuesday that division staff are searching for the animal responsible for the attack, which will be killed if found. There have been two other coyote attacks on children this summer in the Anthem area. “This is abnormal behavior for these coyotes to actually be going after kids,” Churchill said. “It’s definitely disconcerting to us.” – For complete article go to

National 09/20/11 Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness in the U.S. In 2009, it was the 5th most common Nationally Notifiable disease. In 2010, 94% of Lyme disease cases were reported from 12 states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

 Global 09/20/11 by Judy Benson – In a potentially significant breakthrough in the understanding of tick-borne infections, Yale School of Public Health researchers report finding that a different bacteria from the one that causes Lyme disease can also be transmitted by a tick bite and can cause a different type of illness in humans. The bacteria, Borrelia miyamotoi, was found in ticks in Connecticut in 2001 by Yale epidemiology professor Durlan Fish, but he and researchers previously did not know whether it caused human illness. The bacteria have since been found in all tick species that transmit Lyme disease throughout the United States and Europe. Now, Fish and Dr. Peter Krause, senior research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale School of Medicine, working with colleagues in Russia, have concluded that roughly one-sixth of a group of about 300 Russian patients with suspected tick-borne infections had illnesses caused by the miyamotoi bacteria. In the region of Russia where the patients lived, it is believed that up to one-quarter of all tick-borne infections may be caused by miyamotoi.

Dr. Durland Fish

Lyme disease, first identified in a cluster of patients in Lyme in the 1970s, is caused by different tick-borne bacteria. Two less common tick-borne illnesses, babsiosis and ehrlichiosis, are caused by still other types. In Connecticut, there are 3,000 to 4,000 documented Lyme disease cases annually; nationally, the number ranges from 20,000 to 30,000. The miyamotoi infection causes fever as high as 103 degrees – higher than what’s typical for Lyme infections – as well as headaches and other flu-like symptoms that recur without treatment.

Dr. Peter Krause

Symptoms were more severe than Lyme disease, the researchers found. Patients do not have the bull’s-eye red rash that often characterizes Lyme disease, Krause said in a phone interview Monday. Joint pain is also more often a symptom of Lyme disease. Because it is caused by a different bacteria than Lyme disease, tests for Lyme antibodies in blood samples of patients with the miyamotoi infection would be negative, causing possible confusion in diagnosis, the researchers noted in a news release. The release was timed with the publication of an article by Fish and Krause in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. – For complete article go to

Maine 09/19/11 by Joseph Cyr – Something stinks in Houlton. A number of residents are reporting problems with skunks digging up their lawns and generally being a nuisance. In fact, the situation is so pungent that Animal Control Officer Kevin Upton is having a hard time keeping up with the number of complaints. “The problem has escalated over the past three years or so,” he said. “The main thing they are looking for is food, water and shelter.” Upton said he has had one of his busiest seasons on record. Thus far, he has captured more than 25 skunks within town limits and yet there is still a waiting list of people wanting animals caught in their yards. The captured skunks are then released into the wild. – For complete article and tips for homeowners go to

Illinois 09/20/11 A Cook County man in his 60s who was diagnosed with West Nile in August is the first person in Illinois to die from the mosquito-borne virus this year, according to state health officials.

The man, who was not identified, had underlying health conditions when he died earlier this month, according to a release from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) . . . Currently, the state is reporting eight human cases of the virus in Illinois.

Massachusetts 09/20/11 by Adam Roberts – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Milton. To date, over 250 mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV in Massachusetts this year. This includes mosquitoes found in the surrounding communities of Boston, Dedham, Norwood, Quincy, Randolph, Westwood, and Weymouth.

New Jersey 09/19/11 by Victoria Hurley-Schubert – A bat found in Princeton Borough tested positive for rabies late last week. ”The person who was exposed to the bat was sitting in the yard about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and the bat fell out of the tree into her lap,” said Princeton Health Officer David Henry. “The situation was so unusual and since we had the bat we sent it out for testing and it came back positive for rabies.” The borough resident lives in the Westerly Road area.

Travel Warnings:

India 09/20/11 by Matthias Williams – Authorities in eastern India will start culling chickens and destroying eggs to contain a new outbreak of H5 bird flu, the government said in a statement on Tuesday, as a mutant strain of the virus is spreading elsewhere in Asia. Surveillance was stepped up in West Bengal, a state severely hit by bird flu outbreaks in the past. The federal government is pushing local authorities to ban the movement of poultry and its products, and restricting access to the affected area after samples tested positive for H5, a government statement said. “It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease,” it said.

Last month, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned of a possible resurgence of bird flu and said a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus was spreading in Asia and beyond. It was not immediately clear if the latest outbreak in India was related to the new Asian strain. Virologists warn there is no vaccine against the H5N1 strain recently found in China and Vietnam that could potentially carry risks for humans and called for closer monitoring of the disease in poultry and wild birds to stop it spreading. Bird flu first broke out in India in 2006 and millions of chickens and ducks have been culled since to contain the virus, but it has resurfaced from time to time. India did not give further details about the exact strain of flu found in the latest outbreak in West Bengal.


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