YELLOWSTONE officials to investigate HIKER’s encounter with WOLF ~ NEW MEXICO confirms CAT has PLAGUE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (2), LA, & TX ~ RABIES reports from NC, & SC.

Wolf pup. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Yellowstone National Park 06/13/12 A man hiking in Yellowstone National Park encountered a female wolf outside a den and sprayed the animal with pepper spray before fleeing the scene. Yellowstone Park officials confirmed Tuesday that the man, whose name was not released, encountered a female wolf in the Hayden Valley. While park officials continue to investigate the incident, a spokesman said Tuesday that the man was hiking when he came across the wolf outside a den. “There was no wolf attack,” park spokesman Al Nash said. “However, a visitor apparently had some sort of encounter with a wolf. The wolf did not attack him. He was not injured by a wolf.” The wolf allegedly gave a warning bark, which the man interpreted as a growl. He sprayed the wolf with pepper spray — a deterrent most often used in bear encounters. The hiker heard the wolf yipping as a result of the spray as he fled.

Park officials said the man jumped into the Yellowstone River, believing the wolf might pursue him. He apparently lost his backpack as he was washed downriver and was treated by park rangers for hypothermia. “This gentleman encountered a wolf, just as many visitors encounter bears, elk or sheep,” Nash said. “I don’t know what his decision-making process was. He chose to get away from the animal. Why he chose to go into the Yellowstone River, I just don’t know.” – For complete article see

New Mexico 06/13/12 The Department of Health said a cat that lives in the city of Taos has the plague. The cat most likely contracted the disease from hunting rodents and prairie dogs in Sunset Park near the intersection of Valverde Street and Town Hall Drive, according to a health department news release. A second cat in the city is suspected of having the plague and the health department is encouraging the owners of the park to put warning signs around their property. The park is part of Valverde Commons, an adult, sustainable-living community, according to its website. “Plague cases in pets serve as a warning that there is plague activity in rabbits, rodents and their fleas in the area,” Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres said in a release. “I encourage everyone to follow simple prevention recommendations to keep themselves, their families and pets safe.” – For complete article see

California 06/13/12 Dixon, Solano County: Health officials have issued a West Nile Virus alert after a dead crow tested positive for the disease. – See

American Crow.

California 06/13/12 Atwater, Merced County: An American crow, found dead May 22nd, has tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Louisiana 06/13/12 Terrebonne Parish: Mosquitoes collected June 6th in Oaklawn subdivision have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Texas 06/12/12 Brazos County: A sampling of mosquitoes found near Texas A&M’s McFerrin Athletic Center tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

North Carolina 06/12/12 Charlotte, Mecklenburg County: A raccoon killed by a dog near Dusty Trail Road in North Charlotte last week has tested positive for rabies. – See

South Carolina 06/12/12 Aiken County: Health officials issued a rabies alert today after a raccoon tested positive for the virus. This is the third case of animal rabies in the county this year. – See


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