ALASKAN hiker survives BROWN BEAR attack ~ NORTH CAROLINA resident discovers very “BIG” BLACK BEAR in back yard ~ USDA announces new rules to limit spead of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ TEXAS confirms HUMAN case of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ ILLINOIS county reports MOSQUITO sample positive for WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA man bitten by RABID BAT while cleaning pool.

Brown bear. Photo by Alaska Public Lands.

Alaska 06/10/12 Chugach State Park, Anchorage: by Rebecca Palsha, ktuu.com  – An Eagle River man was attacked by a (brown) bear Sunday morning, about 7:40, on the Bird Creek trail about three miles from the trailhead. Alaska State Troopers say 30-year-old Ben Radakovich was hiking by himself, in the morning, when he came across a mother and her cub. Radakovich had pepper spray with him, but didn’t have time to use it before the bear attacked. Trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen says Radakovich has wounds to his to his head, neck and back from biting and scrapes. Ipsen says the attack happened really quickly and Radakovich curled into a ball. Ipsen says Radakovich told them the bear was batting and swatting him. After the attack he scrambled about 30 feet up a tree where he was able to call troopers. Radakovich told troopers he could hear the bear grunting and panting near-by. It took troopers about two hours to get to him. Radakovich was flown by Helo-1 to Providence Hospital. There has been no update on his condition.

North Carolina 06/10/12 Asheville, Buncombe County: by R.A. Kane – My wife and I (and both of our dogs) just saw a BIG black bear in our back yard. We live on the north side of Asheville and in the city limits. We’ve seen other bears, pretty much every summer and ranging from a mom w/ 3 cubs to a sleek 400# female to a grey-muzzled old male. My best guess is that down on all 4 feet, tonight’s bear was 4 1/2 ft tall at the shoulders and weighed in at 550 to 600 lbs.

National 06/11/12 cattlenetwork.com: The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Friday announced new rules to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), which affects cervids including deer, elk and moose. CWD is a lethal “transmissible spongiform encephalopathy” similar to BSE in cattle, although there is no evidence to date that CWD can spread to cattle or to humans. The new interim final rule will establish a national CWD herd-certification program and minimum requirements for interstate movement of cervid animals in the United States. Farmed or captive deer and elk have been, in numerous cases, implicated in the spread of CWD to wild herds, which has resulted in large-scale culling of animals and economic losses in areas where hunting generates significant revenue. According to APHIS, CWD has been reported in farmed or captive cervids in 11 states since testing began in 1997.

Whitetail buck with Chronic Wasting Disease.

Just last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation announced it will loosen deer-hunting restrictions in a six-county area in the northern part of the state for this fall, in response to the discovery of CWD in two deer killed during last-year’s hunting season. After that discovery, the department killed over 650 deer in the area and three of those tested positive for CWD. All of the infected wild deer were killed near a captive-deer facility where 11 animals previously tested positive for the disease. “It is important that we have a nationwide CWD herd certification program for farmed or captive cervids,” says USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford. “The amendments we are making to our CWD rule will help to control the spread of this disease, support the growing U.S. cervid industry, and complement existing state CWD programs.” APHIS is issuing the interim final rule and requesting public comment for 30 days. After reviewing the public comments, the Agency will issue a final rule and, should there be a need, incorporate any changes made in response to comments received by the Agency. The interim final rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Participating States then will have 180 days before APHIS begins enforcing the interstate movement provisions in the regulation.

Texas 06/11/12 Lantana, Denton County: Health officials confirm the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year. See http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/06/11/4023627/west-nile-case-confirmed-in-denton.html

Illinois 06/11/12 Peoria, Peoria County: Health officials have confirmed the first mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile Virus this year. – See http://www.pjstar.com/news/x2067833369/Mosquito-with-West-Nile-found-in-Peoria-County

California 06/09/12 Riverside, Riverside County: A bat that bit a man while cleaning a pool on June 6th has tested positive for rabies, and another bat suspected of being infected with the virus was found near Hemet, a county Animal Services spokesperson said. In the Hemet incident, a vaccinated dog was playing with a sick bat when it was bitten on June 5th.

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