Two MONTANA ELK HUNTERS attacked by GRIZZLY ~ WYOMING officials euthanize old and underweight GRIZZLY that bit a DEER HUNTER ~ ALASKA considers plan to shoot WOLVES on Kenai Peninsula from aircraft ~ CALIFORNIA’s King City scene of HORSE injured and COLT killed by MOUNTAIN LION ~ CALIFORNIA’s Del Rey Oaks PD receives spate of MOUNTAIN LION sightings ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from Missouri.

Grizzly. Courtesy National Park Service.

Montana 11/14/11 the republic: A bear attacked and injured two men Saturday while they were elk hunting in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in Madison County, but the bruin will face no repercussions from wildlife biologists. Three men surprised a sow with a cub Saturday afternoon southeast of Ennis, said Undersheriff Roger Thompson. The sow charged a 60-year-old Helmville man and bit him on the thigh, then turned on a 41-year-old man from Manhattan and bit his shoulder. The hunters believed the bear was a grizzly. “It was very quick,” Thompson told The Montana Standard. “The one gentleman was ready to shoot the bear, but the bear had his friend and he didn’t want to shoot him.” The bear ran off. The uninjured man called for help at 2:30 p.m. Responders reached the injured hunters at about 9:30 p.m. They were taken to the hospital in Ennis and then to Bozeman for further treatment. State biologists are not planning any action against the bear, said Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman Andrea Jones. “It was a surprise encounter,” she said. “The bear was doing what a bear does in defending its cub.”

Wyoming 11/14/11 billingsgazette.com: by Martin Kidston – An old and underweight grizzly bear was euthanized over the weekend after biting a deer hunter on the leg along the South Fork of the Shoshone River. Wyoming Game and Fish spokesman Dennie Hammer said the grizzly bit the man on the thigh. The hunter, who surprised the bear, received four puncture wounds from the bite but wasn’t seriously hurt, Hammer said. “He was hunting with a friend in a dense willow patch,” Hammer said. “He walked in on a bear that was lying there, and the bear bit him on the left thigh.” Hammer said the attack occurred late last week during a full moon at around 7:30 a.m. Biologists searched for the bear over the weekend and found the animal underweight and in poor shape. “That bear was in fairly poor body condition,” Hammer said. “It was an older bear. It had broken teeth. Its body fat was around 15 percent. The average for this time of year should be 31 percent.” Hammer said that while the bear was acting normally, biologists opted to capture the animal and euthanize it because of its condition, age and proximity to populated areas. The bear’s exact age was not yet known. “We just didn’t feel we should move it anywhere because he was old and in poor condition,” Hammer said. “The investigation into the incident showed that the bear was acting defensively — not predaciously. There was no reason to conduct a necropsy.” Hammer said the encounter occurred in an area of dense willows near the confluence of the South Fork of the Shoshone River with Buffalo Bill Reservoir. The area has become an unauthorized dumping ground for carcasses. “One of the problems was, people are dumping deer carcasses in that general area,” Hammer said. “He was grabbing those carcasses and dragging them into the willows. People need to take their carcasses into the local landfill. It’s better than dumping them on the roadside.”

Wolf Pack on Moose

Alaska 11/14/11 myfoxspokane.com: by Yereth Rosen – Alaska state officials on Friday were considering a controversial plan to shoot wolves in an effort to boost moose populations in one of the state’s top tourist and recreation areas. An estimated 90 to 135 wolves range across the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage, where under the proposal hunters would shoot the animals from aircraft. Officials have not settled on the number of wolves they might kill under the plan, which was on the agenda for discussion at a meeting on Friday of the Alaska Board of Game. By decreasing attacks on moose from a major predator, the proposal would allow for a rebound in the moose population, which now stands at about 5,000 and is well below targets, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Ted Spraker, an Alaska Board of Game member from the region, said on a statewide public radio program recently that the public is “disgusted” with the low number of moose. “They want the board to start doing something,” he added. But the practice of killing wolves to boost moose populations, especially through aerial shooting, has long been hotly debated in Alaska. Supporters say it is necessary to give hunters opportunities to get moose meat; detractors say it is an inhumane and biologically unsound practice. Any state-authorized aerial wolf kills will have to exclude the peninsula’s federal lands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, has not given permission for wolf control on its property, which covers much of the peninsula. The Alaska Board of Game is expected to make a decision on whether to pursue a moose hunt by Monday, when its meeting lasting several days will end.

California 11/14/11 ksbw.com: A female horse and colt were attacked by a mountain lion in King City, killing one and badly injuring the other. King City resident Robert McCoy noticed one of his horses, named Nitro, was limping with a deep gash in its hip. It looked like Nitro was injured from fighting off a mountain lion, McCoy said. Alarmed, he went to look for his other pet horse, a small colt named Peaches, to make sure it was OK. But Peaches was not as lucky as Nitro. Peaches was found in a dried-out riverbed with cougar paw prints dotting the mud near where it lay dead. McCoy said he is now worried about the safety of his grandchildren because the horses were attacked close to his home and his grandchildren and other kids usually play in the riverbed. McCoy’s neighbors said they also spotted the mountain lion strolling around their neighborhood in the recent days. Since July, there have been eight confirmed mountain lion sightings and incidents on the Central Coast. – For complete article including dates and locations of other sightings and incidents go to http://www.ksbw.com/news/29760698/detail.html

California 11/14/11 montereyherald.com: There have two separate reports of mountain lion sightings in Del Rey Oaks near the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District “Frog Pond,” police said today. The sightings have been during daylight hours. The area is used by park visitors for nature and dog walks. Police said any sightings should be reported immediately to the police department. These are the latest in a spate of mountain lion sightings in the area. On Oct. 24, one of the big cats was spotted on Mar Vista Drive in Monterey. On Sept. 19, a mountain lion was seen near the Marina Municipal Airport. There were several sightings during August in Marina, too.

Missouri 11/14/11 Poplar Bluff, Butler County: Health officials say mosquitoes in the Poplar Bluff area have tested positive for the West Nile virus. See http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2011/11/14/west-nile-found-in-poplar-bluff-mosquitos/

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