SOUTH DAKOTA town destination spot for immigrating SKUNKS ~ MOUNTAIN LION report from IDAHO ~ CANADIANS capture and kill four COYOTES in NOVA SCOTIA ~ EEE & WNV reports from CDC, CAx2, GA, IL, IN, MA, NJ, & SD ~ RABIES reports from GA, NJ, & NC.

Striped skunk. Photo by Alison Wardman. Wikimedia Commons.

South Dakota 10/02/12 aberdeennews.com: by Kay Nguyen – Aberdeen Animal Control Officer John Weaver generally handles about two skunks a month, but he has dealt with about 13 in the last three weeks.  “It’s been my life here for the last month or so,” Weaver said.  In the first two days of October, he had already trapped two skunks. There have been so many skunks in Aberdeen, that he has run out of traps. Weaver monitors the spots his traps are placed in and takes care of the skunks once they are trapped. A waiting list has been established for those who report skunk sightings. Weaver said he waits to see how productive certain trap locations are and moves them based on his observations because most skunks that are spotted are generally just passing through. He said some residents have seen the skunks getting settled under sheds or other structures, though.

Many reasons could explain the heightened skunk population, Weaver said. He said that because the weather is beginning to cool down, the animals are beginning to look for shelter for the winter. However, he said, it’s most likely due to drought conditions. “From everything people are telling me and what I’ve discussed with other folks who are in the animal control business, it has to do with the drought,” Weaver said. “Farmers are cutting things down, so the skunks are looking for food and water and are coming to town for that.” Tim Sahli, a veterinarian, said he’s received only a couple of calls about animals getting into altercations with skunks, but he said it makes sense that more are being seen. “Skunks, like other animals, are always looking for a source of food,” Sahli said. “The drought is probably the No. 1 thing going on right now that would probably bring them in.” He said skunks are at or near the top of the list of being transmitters of rabies and that pet owners should be aware of the dangers. – For complete article and a recipe for deskunking your pet see http://articles.aberdeennews.com/2012-10-02/news/34223813_1_skunk-population-rabies-pet-owners

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Idaho 10/03/12 Ada County: Sheriff’s deputies searched for a young mountain lion today in the vicinity of Chinden Boulevard and Glenwood Street in Garden City. The large cat was reportedly seen by a woman while walking her dog near a footbridge over the Boise River on the Greenbelt east of the Expo Idaho center. – See http://www.nwcn.com/home/?fId=172503801&fPath=/news/local&fDomain=10227

Coyote Attacks:

Canada:

Nova Scotia 10/03/12 cbc.ca: The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources says four coyotes have been captured and killed around New Waterford in the last 10 days. “Three of them were yearlings from a family group,” said Andy Pyke, a wildlife technician with the Department of Natural Resources. “The fourth was a large male. That particular animal had an injury to its jaw so it was rather skinny but it was still a mature animal.” Pyke said officials can’t be sure whether one of the captured coyotes is the same one that knocked a 16-year-old girl to the ground in New Waterford on Sept. 14. The girl walking to the Breton Education Centre along railroad tracks near her home when she was struck from behind. The animal scratched her face and was scared away by a car horn. – For complete article see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/10/03/ns-coyotes-trapped-waterford.html

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

CDC National Update 10/02/12 cdc.gov: Update – As of October 2, 2012, 48 states have reported WNV infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 3,969 cases of WNV disease in people, including 163 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 2,010 (51%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 1,959 (49%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. The 3,969 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of WNV disease cases reported to CDC through the first week in October since 2003. Almost 70 percent of the cases have been reported from eight states (Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Illinois) and a third of all cases have been reported from Texas. – For details see http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

California 10/03/12 Los Angeles County: Health officials confirm 54 human cases of WNV in the county so far this year, including two deaths. Yesterday, officials said the two who died were both in their 80s and lived in the southeastern part of the county. – See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/two-dead-from-west-nile-virus-in-la-county.html

California 10/03/12 Fresno County: A Fresno woman is the second person in the county to die of complications from WNV, health officials confirmed today. This year, there have been 16 human cases of WNV in 12 different county zip-code areas. – See http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/03/3016217/fresno-woman-is-2nd-in-fresno.html

Georgia 10/03/12 Bryan County: Coastal Health District officials have confirmed a human case of WNV in a 48-year-old county man. The CDC has confirmed 45 cases of WNV in the state so far this year. – See http://savannahnow.com/news/2012-10-03/bryan-county-man-has-west-nile-virus#.UGzXwFEt7WB

Illinois 10/03/12 Kane County: Health officials say four more human cases of WNV have been reported in the county bringing the total number of cases reported in the county to nine so far this year, including one death. The cases being reported Wednesday include two men, ages 61 and 67, from Elgin; a 50-year-old St. Charles man; and a 59-year-old Geneva man. – See http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/news/15537101-418/4-more-west-nile-cases-reported-in-kane-county.html

Indiana 10/03/12 therepublic.com: State health officials say more than 60 human cases of WNV have been reported so far this year, including six deaths. The fatalities were reported in the counties of Marion, Allan, Vanderburgh, and Hendricks. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/955a82f6d21b47088f138cf5bf65a099/IN–West-Nile-Indiana

Massachusetts 10/03/12 Essex County: A 76-year-old Georgetown man, hospitalized with EEE, died last week of his illness, according to town officials. He is the 3rd person in the state to die of EEE so far this year. – See http://bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2012/10/03/third-massachusetts-resident-dies-from-eee/a3tvyw6MDbJ2LPEhxiQOsK/story.html

New Jersey 10/02/12 Cumberland County: Officials confirmed today that two mosquito pools within the Union Lake Wildlife Management Area in Millville have tested positive for EEE. The Cumberland County Department of Public Works Mosquito Control Division monitors this area closely because the wooded, swampy environment within the wildlife management area is at an increased risk for mosquitoes carrying EEE as well as WNV, officials said. – See http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2012/10/mosquito_pools_test_positive_f.html

South Dakota 10/03/12 doh.sd.gov: State health officials have confirmed 195 human cases of WNV in the state so far this year, including 3 deaths. In addition, 42 blood donors, 10 horses, 5 birds, and 84 mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus. – See http://doh.sd.gov/WestNile/PDF/WNVupdate10-3.pdf

Rabies:

Georgia 10/03/12 Hall County: A bat that had direct contact with a dog in Clermont has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred in the vicinity of Ivey Street. This is the 20th confirmed rabies case in the county so far this year. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=253677

New Jersey 10/03/12 Salem County: A raccoon that was shot by an Upper Pittsgrove Township resident because it was chasing his cat has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2012/10/test_results_show_rabid_raccoo.html

North Carolina 10/03/12 Davidson County: A skunk that was killed in a fight with two dogs in the Midway community on September 27th has tested positive for rabies. One of the dogs was unvaccinated and had to be euthanized. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/248485/57/Skunk-W-Rabies-Killed-1-Dog-OK-One-Euthanized

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