Category Archives: Court Decisions

IDAHO Fish & Game kills BIGHORN RAM for being too close to DOMESTIC SHEEP ~ CALIFORNIA authorities report PACK OF PIT BULLS killed 42 GOATS ~ OREGON court extends stay on killing of two WOLVES that attacked LIVESTOCK ~ CALIFORNIANs in Woodside report MOUNTAIN LION sighting ~ NEVADAN in Carson City chased by MOUNTAIN LION while jogging ~ NEW YORK’s Rockland County collects MOSQUITOES carrying WEST NILE VIRUS ~ and RABIES reports from FLORIDA, GEORGIA, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, & WISCONSIN ~ CANADA: BC officials quarantine CATS at animal shelter to stop spread of VS-FCV, a deadly FELINE VIRUS.

Bighorn Ram. Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.

Idaho 11/14/11 News Release – Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists Wednesday, November 9, killed a 4 1/2 year old bighorn ram that had wandered too close to domestic sheep on private property. Healthy domestic sheep can carry bacteria that cause pneumonia and death in bighorn sheep. The ram was first reported west of Castleford on November 8. When it was reported again on November 9, the ram was mingling with cattle in the pens of a dairy located within a few miles of several domestic sheep bands. The ram’s proximity to domestic sheep made contact highly likely, particularly during the fall breeding season. At this time of year, bighorn rams may travel to find ewes and later return to the main population. To protect the population, Idaho Fish and Game policy is to remove bighorn sheep that have or are likely to contact domestic sheep. Samples were taken immediately after the sheep was killed, and the samples and carcass have been transported to the Idaho Fish and Game Wildlife Health Lab in Caldwell for analysis. For more information, please contact the Idaho Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Region at 208-324-4359.

California 11/15/11 Three of four pit bulls that killed 42 goats have been captured, and the fourth dog remained at large today, authorities said. The attack occurred in a corral near 164th Street and Avenue Q, in the 16300 block of Chuka Avenue near Lake Los Angeles occurred about 8 p.m. Monday, Danny Ubario of the Lancaster Animal Care Center said. About 50 goats were in the pen at the time, and the dogs were running free. “This is a tragic incident and completely avoidable,” said Marcia Mayeda, director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. “When dogs run at large, particularly in packs, they tend to act up, feeding into each other’s mischievous behavior,” Mayeda said. “Sometimes that mentality results in tragedy, such as what happened in this case.” The owners of the dogs are being sought, according to Ubario, who said the dogs had no identifying microchips or tags. “We have little information on the owner,” he said. Three of dogs were still in the pen when an animal control officer arrived. The owner of the goats brought the carcasses to the Lancaster animal shelter to dispose of them. Ubario described the attack as a “tragic deed.” The owner of the dogs could be criminally charged, “that is not to mention civil suit,” he said. The pit bulls that were caught were unlicensed, he said. “We don’t know if they have rabies vaccinations,” Ubario said.

Oregon 11/16/11 The Oregon Court of Appeals on Tuesday extended a stay on the state’s planned killing of two wolves in Eastern Oregon.  The stay will last until the court determines whether the killing of wolves in response to their attacks on livestock is warranted under the state Endangered Species Act, according to the Oregon Court of Appeals.  The court issued a temporary ban Oct. 5, about two weeks after state wildlife managers announced they planned to kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack, including the lead male. Three conservation groups — Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild — appealed the state’s plan, triggering the stay and subsequent extension. Josh Laughlin, wolf campaign coordinator for Cascadia Wildlands in Eugene, said the court may issue a ruling in the next couple of months.

California 11/15/11 Woodside, San Mateo County: A mountain lion was sighted near Tripp Road and Tripp Court on Nov 15. See

Nevada 11/16/11 Carson City: Officials warn residents on city’s west side to keep pets and children inside after a mountain lion chased a jogger Nov 15 along King Street near Ormsby Boulevard. See

New York 11/16/11 Rockland County: The first mosquito samples in the county to test positive for West Nile Virus this year were collected in Ramapo, Haverstraw, and Clarkstown. See

Florida 11/14/11 Middleburg, Clay County: Health officials issue a rabies alert after identifying three people exposed to a family dog that tested positive for the virus. See

Georgia 11/15/11 Floyd County: A dog that recently tested positive for rabies raised the total number of animal rabies cases in the county to 14 so far this year. See–animal-cases-now-total-14-for-the-year?instance=home_news

Pennsylvania 11/15/11 East Marlborough, Chester County: A fox that attacked a dog in its owner’s yard and was shot by police has tested positive for rabies. Chester County has reported 27 rabies cases so far this year. See

Virginia 11/15/11 Henrico County: The remains of a skunk likely killed by a dog and found in its pen has tested positive for rabies. See

Wisconsin 11/15/11 Manitowoc, Manitowoc County: Local police are looking for the owner of three dogs, one of which bit a 30-year-old woman with special needs today while she was riding her bicycle on Hamilton Street. If the owner is not located, the woman will have to receive rabies shots. See


British Columbia 11/16/11 Queensborough, New Westminster: Cats at the New Westminster Animal Shelter are under quarantine due to an outbreak of calicivirus. The feline disease is highly infectious. Six cats have been euthanized so far because of the virus. All but two or three of the cats at the shelter have VS-FCV a particularly virulent strain of the virus that has a mortality rate of about 70 %. See

Author’s Note: From Winn Feline Foundation – Feline calicivirus is a highly contagious pathogen responsible for about 45% of upper respiratory tract disease in cats. However, there are strains of calicivirus that appear to produce widely varying clinical signs, including arthritis, gingivitis, skin disease and lower urinary tract disease. In recent years, sporadic outbreaks of hypervirulent strains of feline calicivirus in the United States and the UK have caused alarm and triggered a new wave of research into this old feline infectious disease. This new disease has caused high mortality in the affected animals and has been termed virulent systemic feline calicivirus (VS-FCV) disease. Results of research have confirmed that each virulent calicivirus outbreak has been caused by a new strain that has arisen independently. See


Yellowstone hiker found Friday was killed by a GRIZZLY BEAR; Canadian child attacked by MOUNTAIN LION in Vancouver Island park; Motion to stop Montana and Idaho WOLF hunts denied; North Dakota reminds hunters of DEER baiting restrictions; Virginia DEER feeding ban effective September 1; Wyoming WOLF hunts could begin next year; WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (3), GA, IL, MA (2), NY, OH, & PA; EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from MA (2), & NY; and a RABIES report from WV.

Grizzly at Yellowstone. Photo by James Peaco, National Park Service.

Yellowstone National Park 08/29/11 News Release – A 59-year old man has been identified as the hiker found dead on a trail in Yellowstone National Park on Friday. John Wallace was from the community of Chassell, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. His body was discovered Friday morning by two hikers along the Mary Mountain Trail. The twenty-one mile long trail crosses the center of Yellowstone, connecting the west and east sides of the lower portion of the Grand Loop Road. Wallace was discovered along the trail, about five miles west of the Hayden Valley trailhead, which is off the Grand Loop road between Mud Volcano and Canyon Junction. Wallace was traveling alone, and had pitched a tent in a park campground sometime Wednesday. Rangers discovered signs of grizzly bear activity at the scene Friday afternoon, including bear tracks and scat. Results from an autopsy conducted Sunday afternoon concluded that Wallace died as a result of traumatic injuries from a bear attack. The Mary Mountain Trail, the Cygnet Lakes Trail, and the section of the Hayden Valley west of the Grand Loop Road have been closed to hikers. Park rangers, wildlife biologists, and park managers continue their investigation of the incident. Visitors are advised to stay on designated trails, hike in groups of three or more people, be alert for bears, make noise, carry bear spray, and not to run upon encountering a bear. Hikers and backcountry users are encouraged to check with staff at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for updated information before planning any trips in the central portion of the park.


British Columbia 08/30/11 by Keven Drews –  A cougar attack that injured an 18-month-old boy in a British Columbia park was stopped after the child’s grandfather and a family friend scared off the animal, which also lunged towards the boy’s four-year-old sister, parks officials said Tuesday. The boy was listed in serious condition in Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital after he was attacked Monday evening in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The attack happened at a popular day-use spot at Kennedy Lake, east of Ucluelet. Bob Hansen, who works for the park and specializes in incidents involving wildlife and people, said the group had packed up for the day and was heading up a trail to their car when the attack occurred. Hansen said the tot, his four-year-old sister, their grandfather and a friend of the family were together when the cougar emerged from the forest. The boy was walking about three metres in front of the group, said Hansen. “From what I understand, they yelled and screamed and the cat dropped the child,” said Hansen. “So it sort of bit the child and ran towards the four-year-old, but didn’t hit the four-year-old.” Hansen said the cougar didn’t leave the area right away, so the adults attempted to scare it off before they returned to their vehicle. Renee Wissink, manager of resource conservation at the park, said the child’s father asked for help at a visitor’s information centre located just minutes away down the highway and an ambulance was called. The boy was eventually transferred to Vancouver. The Kennedy Lake day-use area was closed to the public as wildlife officials searched for the cat. Hansen said two teams of park staff and conservation officers and two teams of hounds were searching for the cougar. (For complete article go to )

Montana 08/25/11 A federal appeals court on Thursday denied a request by environmental groups to halt wolf hunts that are scheduled to begin next week in Idaho and Montana. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and other groups. The groups were seeking to cancel the hunts while the court considers a challenge to congressional action in April that stripped wolves of federal protections in Montana and Idaho, and in parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula reluctantly upheld a budget rider that was inserted by Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. It marked the first time since the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 that Congress forcibly removed protections from a plant or animal. Molloy ruled that the way Congress went about removing endangered species protections from the Northern Rockies gray wolf undermined the rule of law but did not violate the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the environmental groups argued Congress’ actions were unconstitutional because they violated the principle of separation of powers. “We lost the injunction, we have not lost the case,” Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said of Thursday’s court ruling. “We will continue to fight to protect the wolves and enforce the separation of powers doctrine in the U.S. Constitution.” Meanwhile, John Horning, executive director for WildEarth Guardians, one of the groups involved in the case, said, “We are discouraged we didn’t win a stay of execution for wolves, but we are cautiously optimistic that we will win our lawsuit to protect wolves from future persecution.” Wolf hunts are scheduled to begin Aug. 30 in Idaho and Sept. 3 in Montana.

Hunters in Montana will be allowed to shoot as many as 220 gray wolves, reducing the predators’ Montana population by about 25 percent to a minimum of 425 wolves. In Idaho, where an estimated 1,000 wolves roam, state wildlife managers have declined to name a target for kills for the seven-month hunting season. They say the state will manage wolves so their population remains above 150 animals and 15 breeding pairs, the point where Idaho could attract federal scrutiny for a possible re-listing under the Endangered Species Act.

North Dakota 08/29/11 Hunters are reminded that hunting over bait remains prohibited on any state owned or managed lands in North Dakota. The North Dakota deer hunting proclamation also notes that hunting deer over bait in unit 3F2 is prohibited because of chronic wasting disease. Baits include grains, minerals, fruits, salt, vegetables, hay or any other natural or manufactured material deer would use as food. It does not apply to the use of scents, food plots or standing crops.

Deer with chronic wasting disease

Virginia 08/25/11 News Release – Effective September 1, it will be illegal to feed deer statewide in Virginia. The annual prohibition runs through the first Saturday in January. In addition, it is now illegal to feed deer year-round in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and in the city of Winchester as part of the Department’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) management actions established in April 2010. This regulation does not restrict the planting of crops such as corn and soybeans, wildlife food plots, and backyard or schoolyard habitats. It is intended to curb the artificial feeding of deer that leads to negative consequences. Problems with feeding deer include: unnaturally increasing population numbers that damage natural habitats; increasing the likelihood for disease transmission, and increasing human-deer conflicts such as deer/vehicle collisions and diminishing the wild nature of deer. In addition, feeding deer has law enforcement implications. Deer hunting over bait is illegal in Virginia. Prior to the deer feeding prohibition, distinguishing between who was feeding deer and who was hunting over bait often caused law enforcement problems for the Department’s conservation police officers.  (For complete news release go to )

Wyoming 08/29/11 by Mark Heinz – Wolf hunts in Wyoming could begin by fall 2012, under a proposed Game and Fish management plan. If so, resident wolf tags will be about $15, said G&F Cody area trophy game supervisor Mark Bruscino. There would be designated hunt areas – each with a mortality quota- as has long been the case with black bear and mountain lions, Bruscino said. “The mortality quota system is a proven method for managing large carnivores,” he said. Bruscino was the main speaker before an audience of about 50 people Aug. 25, at a public meeting in Cody regarding the proposed wolf management plan. The next step will be a public comment period, lasting until Sept. 9. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will meet to discuss, finalize and vote on the plan Sept. 14. After that, it will be up for federal review, and nation-wide comment period. If all goes smoothly, wolves could be delisted in Wyoming by Oct. 1, 2012, Bruscino said. If that happens, it will be the culmination of efforts to delist wolves that have been going on since 2002. That’s the year the population in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho reached the “biological goals” of the wolf reintroduction program, Bruscino said. Since then, there have been a couple of false starts, and even some brief wolf hunting seasons, but wolf delisting was held up by litigation in all three states. Through a federal budget rider, delisting went through earlier this year in Montana and Idaho. It’s expected to stick; hunting seasons in both those states begin soon. (For complete article go to )

California Quail is listed in CDC's West Nile Virus avian mortality database.

California 08/30/11 by Mike Szymanski – Two more dead birds were found containing the West Nile Virus in Studio City last week, bringing the total to four. And, for the first time this year, a dead bird with the potentially deadly virus was in North Hollywood in the 91606 ZIP code. “These tests show a continuing need to be vigilant in trying to prevent places for mosquitoes to breed,” said Crystal Brown, public information officer of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. In this case, it is important to never touch a dead bird that may be found in the neighborhood and certainly educate children of the dangers of touching any dead wildlife they may find. In the past week, 23 additional dead birds were found with the West Nile Virus, and nine were found in the San Fernando Valley area, including communities such as Encino, Chatsworth, Northridge and Van Nuys. Of the mosquito samples testing positive for the virus, nearly one-fourth of them, 18 of the 42, were found in the San Fernando Valley, particularly in Encino and Chatsworth.

Orange County

California 08/26/11 by Courtney Perkes – A Buena Park man is Orange County’s first confirmed human West Nile Virus case for the year, public health officials said Friday. The unidentified man, in his 50s, remains hospitalized after he was admitted in mid-August, according to the county’s Health Care Agency. He is the 19th human case reported this year in California. Last year, Orange County had only one human case of the infection, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Yolo County

California 08/26/11 West Nile Virus activity has spread to Yolo County as the first dead bird and a mosquito sample have tested positive for the virus, local officials announced Friday. The bird was found in South Davis near Chiles Road and Mace Boulevard, and the mosquito sample was found near County Road 103 between Woodland and Davis. “Finding this first positive bird and mosquito sample is significant because it shows that the virus is moving to new areas,” David Brown, district manager, said in a news release.

DeKalb County

Georgia 08/27/11 Traps in Decatur and other parts of DeKalb County captured 74 collections of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile Virus through Friday, a big increase over the number found with the virus last year, according to data from the DeKalb County Board of Health.

Lake County

Illinois 08/30/11 by Michelle Stoffel – A mosquito pool in Buffalo Grove has tested positive for West Nile virus, the Lake County Health Department announced recently. The mosquito pool, sampled Aug. 4, is the first confirmed indicator of the disease in Lake County this year. In 2010, one human and 29 mosquito pools tested positive for the virus in the county.

Massachusetts 08/30/11 by Daniel DeMaina – A mosquito pool in Melrose has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), the Melrose Health Department announced in a press statement on Tuesday morning. The trap that yielded the positive West Nile test is located on the Melrose/Stoneham line, the release stated.

Massachusetts 08/27/11 by Leslie Anderson – West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Newton, city officials announced today. This is the first positive mosquito pool identified in Newton this summer. However, several nearby communities, including West Roxbury and Brookline, have already found mosquitoes with the virus, so the news was not a surprise, said Dori Zaleznik, commissioner of the city’s Health & Human Services Department.

Nassau County

New York 08/30/11 The first case of West Nile virus in a human in Nassau County this year was reported Tuesday by the county Department of Health. The unidentified Hempstead resident, who is between 40 and 50 years old, suffered a mild case and has fully recovered, the department said in a statement.

Cuyahoga County

Ohio 08/30/11 Ohio’s first two clinical human cases of West Nile virus in 2011 were confirmed Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Health, which also reported a sharp increase in the number of WNV-positive mosquitoes. A case of WNV meningitis was confirmed in a 19-year-old Cleveland-area woman who was hospitalized in Cuyahoga County.

Putnam County

A 14-year-old boy in Putnam County was confirmed with WNV fever, but was not hospitalized. Both are recovering. Meanwhile, the number of WNV-positive mosquito pools in the State of Ohio increased from 52 to 450 during the month of August.

Lebanon County

Pennsylvania 08/30/11 The Department of Health today reported Pennsylvania’s first probable human case of West Nile virus (WNV) of 2011. On July 22, an elderly Lebanon County woman was hospitalized with a high fever and neurological symptoms. She is currently recovering. For more information about West Nile virus, including current test results for mosquitoes, birds and horses, visit or call the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA HEALTH.

Massachusetts 08/30/11 by Michael Gelbwasser – Mosquitoes collected from Sharon last Thursday had the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, state and local health officials said today.

Massachusetts 08/25/11 The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) EEE virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Rehoboth, Massachusetts on 8/22/11. In 2010, 3,558 mosquito samples were tested for EEE virus, and 65 positive samples were identified in Massachusetts. This is Rehoboth’s first EEE virus positive mosquito sample identified in 2011.

New York 08/29/11 A confirmed case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been found in a horse in Massena, according to the New York State Department of Health. The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department was notified, and the horse was euthanized on Aug. 22. Although the EEE virus is rare, it is one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases. About one-third of people infected with the virus die. Most survivors suffer significant brain damage. An Oswego County resident died of EEE about two weeks ago.

West Virginia 08/30/11 Mineral County health officials are advising residents of the New Creek area to be cautious after a raccoon tested positive for rabies. The Mineral Daily News-Tribune reports that the county Health Department confirmed the rabies case about 5 miles south of Keyser.

Federal judge in Idaho refuses to lift endangered species protection from Wolves; Rabies expert says rabid Horses more likely to bite than other infected livestock; Texas officials say Horse on show circuit had Rabies; Rabies reports from Connecticut, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Virginia; and Coyote reports from Georgia, and Virginia.

Gray wolf. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Idaho 04/09/11 by Keith Ridler – A federal judge has denied a proposed settlement agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 10 conservation groups that would have lifted endangered species protections for wolves in Montana and Idaho. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula on Saturday rejected the agreement that could have led to public hunting of some 1,300 wolves in the two states. In the 24-page decision, Molloy cited the court’s lack of authority to put part of an endangered species population under state management and expose that population to hunting, noting, “Congress has clearly determined that animals on the ESA must be protected as such,” and the court couldn’t “exercise its discretion to allow what Congress forbids.” He also said he couldn’t approve the settlement proposed in March because not all the parties involved in the case agreed with it. Part of the argument for the settlement was that it could end litigation, but Molloy noted that was unlikely given the opposition by some to the proposed settlement. Saturday amounted to a one-two punch for the 10 conservation groups as Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson on the same day announced wolves in Montana and Idaho would be taken off the endangered list under the budget bill pending before Congress. (For complete article go to )

National 04/09/11 Rabid horses are far more likely to expose humans (to rabies) by biting them than other livestock, an expert in the disease says. Dr Cathleen Hanlon, director of the Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory, said while only about 50 rabid horses are diagnosed each year in the United States, even a single case

Dr. Cathleen Hanlon

can have significant public health ramifications. Rabies cases, such as those that occurred at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and other public venues, triggered extensive investigations to identify potentially exposed humans and other animals. Hanlon noted that a retrospective analysis of horse cases revealed that signs of furious rabies, including aggression, were present in 40 per cent of cases, general neurologic signs and poor co-ordination in about 30 per cent, and excessive salivation and prostration in about 25 per cent. “In contrast to other livestock, rabid horses were far more likely to expose humans by biting them,” Hanlon noted in a report published in Gluck’s Equine Disease Quarterly. (For complete article go to )

Texas 04/08/11 Texas DSHS News Release: Texas Department of State Health Services officials say that people who attended horse shows in Belton and Lufkin last month may have been exposed to a horse that tested positive for rabies. The shows were attended by roughly 150 people from Texas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana and Mississippi. While risk of transmission to humans appears to be low, DSHS is attempting to contact show attendees about possible exposures. Rabies is a viral illness that is almost always fatal once symptoms develop. The horse participated in events at the following two shows during its infectious period:

  • March 19-21, American Southwest Texas Cutting Horse Association show, Belton
  • March 25-27, Lufkin Cutting Horse Association show, Lufkin

Health officials are urging people who believe they have been exposed to the rabid horse to contact their health care provider or DSHS at (512) 458-7455 to determine if preventive treatment is warranted. The horse was a 7-year-old bay quarter horse gelding with a faint star on its forehead. During the events, the horse was ridden and fed only by its owners and trainers and was stabled in a barn at each site. Illness was first noticed in the horse March 31. It died April 4 and tested positive for rabies April 6.  People can be infected with the rabies virus if they are bitten or if the infected animal’s saliva gets in an open wound or cut or in the eyes, nose or mouth of a person. A series of post-exposure shots, if given in time, can prevent rabies from developing.

Connecticut 04/07/11 by Judy Benson – Waterford – A skunk found near Fog Plain Road has tested positive for rabies, the Ledge Light Health District announced today. It is the second rabid skunk reported in town within a week. Last Friday, Ledge Light alerted residents to a rabid skunk on Longview Street, about two miles from Fog Plain Road. Animal Control Officer Robert Yuchniuk said the skunk on Fog Plain Road was found fighting with a dog in the yard of a home. The dog owners killed the skunk. The dog was up to date on its rabies shots, Yuchniuk said, but is being kept in a 45-day at-home quarantine as a precaution. He urged pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats are up-to-date on their rabies vaccines. Ledge Light will be posting flyers in the neighborhood about the rabid skunk. People are reminded not to feed or approach any wild or stray animals. For information, call Ledge Light at (860) 448-4882 or the animal control officer at (860) 867-6731.

Georgia 04/10/11 by Rob Pavey – Aside from hunters and speeding cars, whitetail deer have had little to fear in recent decades, especially in the Southeast. Today, however, herds that once soared are shrinking — and the secretive coyote might play a larger role than anyone imagined. “Coyotes first showed up here in the ’70s,” said Charlie Killmaster, Georgia’s state deer biologist. “They didn’t do much in the ’80s, but by the mid-1990s, they just exploded.” The rapid rise and continued expansion of a relatively new predator has spawned numerous studies to gauge their impact on deer populations. “Last year, hunters killed 400,000 deer, and maybe 50,000 to 80,000 were hit by cars,” Killmaster said. “As far as how many were killed by coyotes, we aren’t sure.”

Coyotes rarely kill adult deer, but there is growing evidence that their affinity for newborn fawns, which drop in May and June, is affecting herd numbers. “What makes this predator so successful is that they are opportunistic and can eat any number of things, like fruits and small mammals,” he said. “Deer are really only a food source for one short period, which is fawning season.” Studies in several Southeastern states show coyote-fawn predation is significant, especially in South Carolina, where the deer population fell by 36 percent from 1997 to 2006. That year U.S. Forest Service research biologist John Kilgo launched a study at Savannah River Site in which five newborn fawns were tracked with radio transmitters. Coyotes ate four of them. By 2008, Kilgo’s group had monitored 60 fawns, of which 28 were killed by coyotes.

Kilgo said more data are needed to accurately define the relationship between the two species. “The logical and first conclusion everyone jumps to when they hear these numbers is, we have to go kill some coyotes,” he said. “But in fact, having hunters shoot them from deer stands or landowners removing handfuls of animals is not a solution. It’s more a matter of learning how to live with them, because you can’t get rid of them once they’re here.” Last year, in an article in the Journal of Wildlife Management , Kilgo and other experts including South Carolina deer program leader Charles Ruth, U.S. Department of Agriculture biologist Scott Ray and University of Georgia deer research scientist Karl Miller collectively agreed the coyote issue warrants more attention than it has gotten. (For complete article go to )

Georgia 04/08/11 Gainesville – Hall County authorities said Friday that another case of rabies has been reported in the county, this time on Athens Street in the north Hall area. This latest incident, the fifth for 2011, occurred April 5 between a raccoon, a man and two dogs. The raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab – Virology Section in Decatur on April 6. On April 7, Hall County Animal Services was advised that the raccoon was positive for rabies.

Pennsylvania 04/09/11 The state Department of Agriculture issued a rabies alert for Centre County on Friday after a Union Township resident found a rabid raccoon in an outdoor dog kennel. Killed so it could be tested for rabies, the animal was probably the third rabid raccoon found on the property in less than six months. The property owner killed a confirmed rabid raccoon in the yard last December, and a raccoon suspected to be rabid four weeks ago. How much contact the resident’s dog had with the third raccoon is not known, but the owner confirmed the dog had been quarantined to the property for 90 days. Also recently, a rabid red fox that charged a person and bit a dog was shot in Oliver Township, Mifflin County. In daylight, the fox ran toward the person before a family dog intercepted it. The person shot and killed the fox, which was confirmed to have rabies.

South Dakota 04/08/11 by Mary Garrigan – State health officials are encouraging people to vaccinate their pets against rabies after five of the state’s 10 reported rabies cases so far this year occurred in domestic pets. Animal rabies in South Dakota is up 100 percent over a five-year baseline during the first three months of the year. Two rabid dogs and three rabid cats are among the affected animals, according to the S.D. Department of Health. Dogs in Faulk and Lyman counties and cats in Butte and Charles Mix counties have contracted the disease.

Virginia 04/08/11 by Charles Owens – Tough economic times could be the reason why a growing number of citizens are cashing in on a $50 coyote bounty, according to Tazewell County officials. In the last month alone, a new record of coyote kills has been reported in the county. Claims for 111 coyotes were turned in to the county totaling $5,550. The past month was the largest­­­ for claims paid from the coyote bounty, according to David Anderson, chairman of the county board of supervisors. The number of coyote claims paid between 2000 and 2011 have increased significantly. In 2000, which was the first year of the bounty, only $2,500 in coyote claims were paid. In the year 2006, the number of claims paid jumped to $11,400. That number increased again to $13,200 in 2008, and $16,350 in 2009. So far this year, the county has paid claims totaling $20,350. The board is planning to look at possible changes to the existing bounty with the Tazewell County Farm Bureau. A meeting between the county and Farm Bureau representatives will be held on April 21 to discuss the coyote problem, according to Southern District Supervisor Mike Hymes. (For complete article go to )

Virginia 04/08/11 Four cases of rabies have been reported in the past week in the Roanoke area. Robert Parker of the Virginia Health Department says, in this area, rabies shows up most often in raccoons, skunks, and foxes.