CANADA: NEWFOUNDLAND officer shoots POLAR BEAR that beat in doors and windows on four homes ~ CALIFORNIA man claims BEAR rescued him when MOUNTAIN LION attacked ~ FLORIDA woman fails to save her DOG from hungry COYOTE ~ RABIES reports from CT, FL, IN, NJ, NY, NC, & TX.

Polar Bear. Courtesy of U.S. Global Change Research Program.

Canada:

Newfoundland 03/29/12 huffingtonpost.ca: by Sue Bailey – Fifty-five-year-old Louis Reardon got the shock of his life early Thursday when he leapt out of bed to his son’s cries of “Polar bear!” as a large male bear broke into their home in northern Newfoundland. “He had the door busted open to the dining room with his two front paws and his head in through the door,” Reardon said from tiny Goose Cove, just south of St. Anthony, N.L. “I mean, it frightened the wits right clean out of me, to be that close to a polar bear.” Reardon’s son Damien, 29, had heard a ruckus and flicked on the light to discover the animal. Polar bears are notoriously aggressive when cornered, and Damien slammed on a table trying to frighten the intruder as his father raced for a shotgun. “A polar bear doesn’t usually back down,” Louis Reardon said. “If he came in the house, God knows what he would have done before he went out.” His other son, his daughter, her three young children and her boyfriend had all been sleeping when the commotion started just after 4 a.m.

Louis Reardon said the bear was starting to retreat and he fired two shots over its head to frighten it. He didn’t want to risk wounding it and have it come back furious at him, he explained.Top of FormBottom of Form “I just fired over his head to drive him away. You don’t take chances on stuff like that.” His cousin, Daniel Reardon, said he was called soon after by wildlife officers who were trying to find Louis Reardon’s house. He said the bear beat in doors and broke windows at three other homes, and killed some sheep and ducks at a nearby stable without stopping to eat. “It seemed like it was killing for the sake of killing. It wasn’t hungry.” At one home, the bear “just broke the windows out of each side of the house and went on,” he said. “It seemed like he was in a bad mood.” Local RCMP say wildlife officers shot the bear, which witnesses estimate weighed at least 300 pounds or 135 kilograms. Louis Reardon said polar bears are occasionally spotted as they travel through the region, but he’d never heard of a similar attack. “Not like that, in my whole life,” he said. “It was pretty frightening. What was on my mind was the little kids in the house.”

California 03/27/12 paradisepost.com: by Trevor Warner – A Paradise man says he is lucky to be alive after an attack by a mountain lion Monday morning. Robert Biggs, 69, often hikes in the Bean Soup Flat area, which is about a mile and a half above Whisky Flats. He came across a mother bear, a yearling and a newborn, which were about 40 feet from where he was standing. After watching the bear family for a few minutes he decided to leave them be and turned to walk back up the trail. As he turned, a mountain lion pounced on him grabbing hold of his backpack with all four paws. “They usually grab hold of your head with all four paws, but my backpack was up above my head and (the mountain lion) grabbed it instead,” Biggs said. “It must have been stalking the little bear, but it was on me in seconds.” He wrestled with the cat, striking it in the head with a rock pick. The cat screamed when it was hit with the pick, but didn’t let go, Biggs said. Before he knew it, the mother bear came from behind and pounced on the cat, tearing its grip from the backpack. The bear and the cat battled for about 15 seconds, Biggs said, until the cat finally ran away. The bear went on its way as well. Biggs ended up with bite marks, scratches and bruises to his arm, but was otherwise uninjured. Biggs, a naturist, has hiked that same trail several times and has seen the mother bear and its cub last spring and fall. He said the encounters with the bears were friendly. – For complete article see http://www.paradisepost.com/news/ci_20269991/man-claims-attack-by-lion-saved-by-bear

Florida 03/28/12 Rotonda West, Charlotte County: Woman screams and chases a coyote into the woods by her home but fails to save her dog. See http://www.nbc-2.com/story/17279384/coyote-kills-family-dog-in-their-front-yard

Connecticut 03/27/12 Enfield, Hartford County: A skunk that had direct contact with a dog in the Thompsonville area of town last week has tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabies incident in Enfield in the past five weeks. See http://enfield.patch.com/articles/rabid-skunk-found-in-thompsonville

Florida 03/28/12 Callaway, Bay County: A raccoon that had contact with a dog in the Hugh Drive vicinity earlier this week has tested positive for rabies. This is the fifth confirmed case of animal rabies in the county this year. See http://www.newsherald.com/articles/rabies-101506-bay-county.html

Indiana 03/27/12 Bloomington, Monroe County: A bat that bit an Indiana University student while he slept in his dorm room has tested positive for rabies. He, his roommate, and a pest control worker are all receiving post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots. See http://www.indystar.com/article/20120327/NEWS/120327032/IU-student-bitten-by-rabid-bat-Bloomington-dorm?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com

New Jersey 03/28/12 Helmetta, Middlesex County: A skunk that was killed by a vaccinated dog last week in the vicinity of John Street and Railroad Avenue has tested positive for rabies. Two residents who had contact with the dog after the incident have been advised to seek medical advice. See http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/dog_dies_in_middlesex_countys.html

New York 03/28/12 Martinsburg, Lewis County: A raccoon that was observed exhibiting unusual behavior last week was captured and has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wktv.com/news/health/Raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Martinsburg-144703945.html

North Carolina 03/28/12 Hillsborough, Orange County: Health officials have confirmed the fourth case of animal rabies in the county this year. Residents heard dogs barking near US 70 and St. Mary’s Road last week and discovered that a skunk was in the dogs’ pen. The skunk was shot and tested positive for rabies. The two dogs were not up to date on vaccinations and the owners opted for euthanization. See http://www.chapelboro.com/pages/12674895.php?

Texas 03/27/12 Amarillo, Potter County: Animal control officers are setting traps for feral cats after a woman was bitten by one last week that tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred in the vicinity of N. Pullman Road. The woman who was bitten and several others who were exposed are receiving post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots. See http://www.connectamarillo.com/news/story.aspx?list=195065&id=735211#.T3PcndVsXWB

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