FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: CALIFORNIA officials confirm GRAY WOLF OR-7 has crossed state line ~ MISSOURI authorities find two cases of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE at Heartland Wildlife Ranches ~ RABIES reports from FLORIDA, NEW YORK (2), NORTH CAROLINA, and TEXAS.

Follow-Up Reports:

(See November 3, 2011: Lone GRAY WOLF in Oregon travels 300 miles crossing Cascades looking for mate and new territory; November 12, 2011: Oregon Wild launches CONTEST for youngsters to come up with new name for a lone GRAY WOLF known only as OR-7; November 15, 2011: OREGON’s OR-7 lone WOLF crosses into Jackson County; December 13, 2011: OREGON’s wandering lone WOLF – OR-7 – captures the imagination of a worldwide audience; December 20, 2011: The now famous OREGON GRAY WOLF known as OR-7 is still traveling alone.)

California 01/02/12 physorg.com: by Matt Weiser — A gray wolf was confirmed to be roaming California for the first time in 87 years when a young male migrating in search of a mate crossed over the state line from Oregon on Wednesday. The 2-year-old wolf, known as “OR7”, has roamed more than 750 miles, crossing the length of Oregon in search of a new territory to call his own. On Thursday morning, the wolf’s GPS collar reported location data from the previous 24 hours. Wildlife officials said he is now in Siskiyou County, just a few days after he had been near Keno, Ore. “It might just be sort of a drive-by experience or he could become a resident of Siskiyou County,” said Mark Stopher, a special assistant to the director of the California Department of Fish and Game, which is now monitoring the wolf. “He’s more like an interesting ghost right at the moment.”

State officials don’t yet have a plan to manage wolves, but an initial planning document is being prepared and is expected to be released in January. Regardless, because OR7 is migrating, he is considered endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Disturbing him in any way could be considered a federal crime. As long as OR7 is in California, he will be jointly managed by the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Stopher warned people not to look for the wolf, or approach it if they see it. But if anyone thinks they saw the wolf, Stopher urged them to report a detailed description of the animal to the Redding regional Fish and Game office.

Wild wolves were exterminated from the West in the early 1900s because they were viewed as a threat to livestock. Biologists now recognize that wolves play an important role in managing deer and elk herds and, in turn, the forests they live in. The last wild wolf confirmed in California was killed by a trapper in Lassen County in 1924. – For complete article see http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-lone-wolf-california.html

Missouri 12/31/11 infozine.com: The Missouri Department of Agriculture is finalizing a depopulation and management plan for an approximately 3,000 acre captive wildlife hunting facility in northern Missouri following two positive tests for Chronic Wasting Disease. The facility, operated by Heartland Wildlife Ranches, LLC, is home to white-tail deer, elk and red deer. The plan includes a requirement to depopulate and test all remaining animals for CWD, as well as restrictions on the future movement of animals into the facility. The plan follows multiple positive CWD tests indentified through random surveillance and extends the facility’s current quarantine until all animals have been depopulated and tested for the disease. In October, MDA received results from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa indicating that a captive white-tail deer harvested in the Macon County facility tested positive for CWD. The animal that tested positive was inspected as part of the State’s CWD surveillance and testing program. A second positive test result on a captive white-tail deer within the same facility was verified late this week.  – For complete article see http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/50182/

Florida 12/29/11 Bay County: Another raccoon has tested positive for rabies in North Bay County. See http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/Another_Raccoon_Tested_Positive_for_Rabies_136377428.html

New York 12/29/11 Westport, Essex County: Seven people who came in contact with a feral cat that tested positive for rabies are undergoing precautionary treatment. See http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news/x1235094713/Rabid-stray-cat-discovered-in-Westport-area

New York 12/29/11 Danube, Herkimer County: A skunk that attacked a puppy during daylight hours in the town of Danube has tested positive for rabies, officials with Herkimer County Public Health said Wednesday. See  http://www.uticaod.com/news/x54 and 5139413/Rabid-skunk-attacked-himpuppy-in-Danube

North Carolina 12/30/11 Statesville, Iredell County: Iredell County Animal Services & Control, along with the Iredell County Health Department, has reported two new cases of rabies, which brings the total number of confirmed cases in Iredell County to nine. Each of the recent cases involved a rabid skunk coming in contact with a dog. See http://www2.statesville.com/news/2011/dec/30/cases-rabies-reported-iredell-county-ar-1765037/

Texas 01/02/12 dshs.state.tx.us: News Release — The Texas Department of State Health Services this week begins its annual airdrop of rabies vaccine baits over portions of southern and western Texas in the continuing effort to protect people and livestock from rabies. Planes will take off from airports in Zapata and Alpine around dawn Wednesday, Jan. 4 and from Del Rio on Thursday, Jan. 12. They will drop about 1.8 million doses of rabies vaccine over the next month as part of the DSHS Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. – For complete news release see http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/20120102.aspx

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