Arizonan gored by WILD HOG ~ Colorado teen bitten by COYOTE is sixth such incident in state this year ~ Chicago wildlife pros trapping hundreds of SKUNKS ~ Kansas officials warn of possible TULAREMIA outbreak ~ Texas health officials confirm FERAL KITTEN had RABIES ~ AUTHOR’S NOTE ~ Travel Warnings for Kenya.

Feral Hog Tusks. Photo by 4028mdk09. Wikimedia Commons.

Arizona 09/26/11 by Dave Hawkins – A wild pig that injured a man in northwest Arizona on Saturday was “put down” so that state health officials could perform tests to see whether it was infected with rabies. Desert Hills Fire Chief Matt Espinoza encountered the hog about 7 p.m. after responding to a report of a downed wild burro. He said the 75-pound animal was grossly underweight and behaved as if it were sick or injured when it was found lying along a fence line on Riverside Road in the Crystal Beach residential area north of Lake Havasu City. Espinoza said the hogs that live in the area are not javelinas, which are indigenous to Arizona. They are more like large pot-bellied pigs that roam the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, which borders the subdivision. Espinoza said a young adult male resident of the subdivision was wounded as it approached the pig. “It reared up, and the lower tooth, which protruded outside of his upper lip, punctured his inner leg,” he said. He said firefighters treated the man at the scene. The man, who was not identified, then chose to take himself to a hospital for a checkup. Espinoza said firefighters tried to contain the pig for capture while they waited for Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel, but the animal loped away, leading firefighters on a 100-yard chase through desert brush before it was corralled. Game and Fish spokesman Chris Bedinger said the pig’s body was taken Monday from the Western Arizona Humane Society to Phoenix for testing by the state Department of Health Services.

Colorado 09/26/11 A 16-year-old girl is receiving rabies shots after she was bitten by a coyote in the Vista Heights neighborhood of The Meadows subdivision Friday night. Heather McDonald said she was in her boyfriend’s back yard, which opens up to a green space, after they returned from her high school homecoming game and were approached by the coyote. “He came up and sniffed me once and bit me,” she said. “He wasn’t like growling at me or anything like that, and he just hovered at our feet, and we didn’t know what to do.” The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department reported on its website that deputies have received multiple calls in the last few weeks on coyote sightings and encounters in the higher populated areas of the county. McDonald is the sixth person in Colorado to be bitten by a coyote this year. There has been only 20 reported coyote bites in the past 11 years, according to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. There have been 11 reported human-coyote encounters this year. Broomfield has seen the worst of it, including three bites in the Anthem neighborhood since Aug. 18. A 3-year-old girl was bitten last week while playing with her family in their backyard. A 6-year-old boy and a 2 1/2-year-old boy also have been bitten in the neighborhood. A coyote approached a 4-year-old girl playing near the Anthem recreation center before the child’s mother chased it away.

Illinois 09/26/11 Notice a different scent in the air lately? No, we’re not talking about that crispy, autumn air — rather, skunk sightings are reportedly on the rise in Chicago, following the mammal’s recent statewide population surge. Chicago Wildlife News reports that the state’s skunk population increased 46 percent in 2010 — the eighth annual increase during the last ten years. In the Chicago area, ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention has been busy with requests to remove skunks from various properties. They’ve reportedly captured 687 skunks so far this year, up from 426 skunks at the same point last year, an increase of just over 60 percent. According to a wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the skunks’ population increase over the last decade is due to their continued recovery from a rabies outbreak that struck in the early ’80s, according to Chicago Wildlife News. A number of Chicago suburbs have taken particular note of the often smelly critters. In Oak Forest, one resident said his dog has been sprayed by a skunk five times. Another resident noted that a family of skunks had begun living under his shed. In Joliet, residents came to a City Council meeting in September, complaining that the number of skunks in the area had reached “epidemic proportions,” according to the Peoria Journal Star. In Northbrook, too, this year’s so-called “skunk season” — September through early November — was also expected to be pretty busy.

Kansas 09/28/11 Lyon County health officials are cautioning the public against a possible outbreak of Tularemia after a squirrel tested positive for the disease. To date, no humans have been known to have contracted the disease in recent weeks in Emporia. Authorities reported a man in Emporia found eight dead rabbits in his yard over a period of time and contacted the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The man then collected the ninth animal, a squirrel, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks sent it to the Southeast Cooperative for Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Ga.  The squirrel tested positive for Tularemia, a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacteria Franciscella Tularensis. Kansas is currently ranked sixth in the nation for confirmed cases of Tularemia in people. At this point, there are no known cases of human disease in Kansas.  The last a human death due to Tularemia in Kansas occurred in 2008. Rabbits, hares and rodents are especially susceptible and often die in large numbers during outbreaks. Cats can also become ill and carry the disease to their owners.  – For complete article including routes of infection and recommendation go to

Texas 09/27/11 For the 4th time this year, Comal County Public Health Department officials have confirmed a positive case of rabies, with the most recent case involving a domestic animal, namely a kitten. The gray short-haired kitten was found wandering in the parking lot of a New Braunfels apartment complex last Thursday, and was picked up by a student, who kept the feline in her apartment until she took it to the Comal Animal Clinic. There, a rabies test was performed and came back positive. Officials believe the kitten may have come in contact with a rabid animal such as a skunk or bat. Health officials are concerned that this incident could involve an entire litter of kittens, which means there could be more infected animals in the area. New Braunfels Animal Control has asked the apartment manager to send out a letter warning residents about that potential hazard, and an animal control officer is now on the lookout for other stray animals in that area. As with any positive rabies case, Comal County Public Health officials urge residents to avoid touching any injured or dead wild animal including bats, skunks, raccoons, or foxes. And they ask that you use caution if you find a stray domesticated animal. Rabies is a potentially life-threatening illness that requires a number of painful shots for those that are potentially infected. If you see an injured or dead animal, call either the New Braunfels or Comal County Animal Control office immediately.


Posts will be limited

through October 15

due to

carpal tunnel syndrome.

Travel Warnings:

Kenya 09/28/11 An outbreak of dengue fever in the northeastern Kenyan town of Mandera, close to the Somalia and Ethiopia borders, has affected more than 1,000 people, with four unconfirmed deaths, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the World Health Organization (WHO). A permanent river, Dawa, passes through Mandera. Health officials said residents had been complaining of mosquito bites during the day with the bites swelling. “Using bed nets was impractical as the vector was biting during the day,” the ministry said. “The Public Health office has also noted the resistance developed by the vector to insecticides of different varieties (Icon and Deltamethrin mainly).” Health authorities have alerted all neighbouring districts and public awareness campaigns are ongoing, advising residents to seek early medical attention.


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