Category Archives: Interview

Wisconsin deer HUNTER in tree stand attacked by BLACK BEAR sow with four cubs ~ Colorado officers kill two MOUNTAIN LIONS with taste for exotic LIVESTOCK ~ Montanan kills MOUNTAIN LION with taste for local PETS ~ DC & New Hampshire officials report unconfirmed MOUNTAIN LION sightings ~ Massachusetts PET killed by two COYOTES ~ Florida health officials say there’s a RABIES epidemic in Bay County ~ RABIES reports from Georgia, & North Carolina ~ California TICKS test positive for TULAREMIA ~ Interview: National RV Parks interview with Jerry Genesio ~ Follow-Up Reports: Chicago area SKUNK population at record high ~ Travel Warnings: First ever outbreak of DENGUE FEVER in the Marshall Islands.

Black Bear. Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

Wisconsin 10/27/11 by Dave Orrick – A Wisconsin deer hunter was recovering at home Thursday after a bear attacked her this week in Polk County. Lisa Lang, 28, of Clam Falls was bitten in the leg when the bear climbed 20 feet to her tree stand Tuesday. Lang escaped when the bear retreated, but her wound required 40 stitches. Bear attacks are rare, but this one featured such uncommon circumstances that several black bear experts said they couldn’t recall any quite like it. Lang said she was bow hunting about 6 p.m. on the edge of a freshly mowed, family-owned cornfield. A deer decoy was about 20 yards in front of her. Her husband, Jeff, was about 120 yards away in a tree stand across the field. Lang said she saw a mother bear and four cubs enter the field some 70 yards to the side. “The cubs were all playing, just moving along, and then when they got close to the decoy, they sort of got spooked or something,” she said. “I started hearing different noises and growling.” Lang said she didn’t think the bears were aware of her. “I think if they didn’t get startled by the decoy, none of this would’ve happened,” she said. The Langs said they believe they had seen the family of bears in the past several years but never had any problems. One of the cubs bolted from the decoy – and up a tree just a few yards from Lang’s stand. “He was eye level with me,” she said. “Then the sow came over and spotted me.” She and her husband estimated the bear to be more than 400 pounds. – For complete article see

Colorado 10/27/11 by Jessi Marlatt —  One llama and one alpaca have been killed by mountain lions outside of Ridgway in the past month. Both attacks occurred during the night, and both lions have been exterminated due to their desire for something a little less gamey. “Mountain lion attacks on livestock in Western Colorado are extremely rare,” said Joe Lewandowski, spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, “and attacks on people here are exceedingly rare. Typically they eat deer, and there are plenty of them around.” Both attacks occurred at different properties near the intersection of County Road 1 and County Road 24. According to Lewandowski, before now, there had not been an attack on livestock by a mountain lion in the area for nearly 10 years. Currently, researchers have radio collars on 25 mountain lions in the area. “We don’t know how many lions are out there… because they are very hard to count,” said Lewandowski, “but killing these two cats does not endanger their population.” Both cats were young adults, roughly two years old, one female and one male. “This is very rare,” said Lewandowski, “but people still need to watch their pets and their livestock.” – For complete article see

Montana 10/27/11 by Melanie Crowson – A 6’8” long, 4-year-old male mountain lion that was working its way through the pet menu in a neighborhood near Plains was shot last weekend with permission from a state game warden. The big cat had set up housekeeping in tall grass just 30 feet from one family’s back porch where he may have been bedding down for much of the summer. See

District of Columbia 10/28/11 McLean Gardens, Northwest Washington: Resident reports mountain lion sighting near Glover Archibald Park, but National Park Service officers are skeptical. See

New Hampshire 10/28/11 Keene, Cheshire County: N.H. Fish and Game is investigating a claim that a mountain lion was spotted in the Monadnock Region last week. A photo of the cat has been given to F&W but they haven’t been able to confirm exactly where the photo was taken. See

Massachusetts 10/28/22 Falmouth, Barnstable County: Pet spaniel dies following attack by two coyotes. See

Florida 10/27/11 by Chris Segal – The Bay County Health Department has extended the rabies alert to include all of Bay County for 60 days and with the leading number of rabies cases in the state, county health Administrator Doug Kent called rabies an epidemic Thursday. From Springfield to Panama City Beach, seven wild animals, including feral cats, raccoons and a bat, have tested positive for rabies. On Tuesday a bat found in the area of Bay Point and a raccoon found near Springfield Elementary School both tested positive for rabies. “This is something we do not see very often,” Kent said. “We have seven different animals that have tested positive for rabies and in the wild animal kingdom this is spreading at a high rate. These animals are now coming into the cities and living areas from the surrounding areas.” In the past two weeks there have been two daytime raccoon-dog conflicts in a neighborhood off Laird Street near Panama City Beach. The raccoons have not been located, but they are suspected of being rabid. On average there are one or two animals that test positive for rabies annually, Kent said. “If you witness something unusual with an animal, if they are acting sluggish, aggressive or different, call Bay County Animal Control,” Kent said. NOTE: If bitten or scratched by an animal, report the injury to the Bay County Health Department at 872-4720, ext. 1125. If the animal is a stray or wild, contact the Bay County Animal Control at 248-6030 and report the location of the animal. – For complete article see

Georgia 10/27/11 Sandy Cross, Franklin County: At least three dogs have been attacked this week by skunks believed to have rabies. See

North Carolina 10/27/11 Marion, McDowell County: “Strange-acting raccoon” shot by local police tested positive for rabies. See

Dog tick

California 10/28/11 Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, San Diego County: Officials confirm ticks collected last week in Lopez Canyon tested positive for tularemia. See


National 10/28/11 National RV Parks interview with Jerry Genesio about pathogens commonly found in nature that everyone should be familiar with, especially campers, hikers, wildlife professionals, and others who work and/or play in the great North American outdoors. The National RV Parks website is a place where RV campers can read interviews with various people about topics of particular interest to them. See

 Follow-Up Reports:

(See September 29, 2011: Chicago wildlife pros trapping hundreds of SKUNKS)

Illinois 19/27/11 by Madhu Krishnamurthy – Wildlife experts say the skunk population in the six-county suburban region is at a record high largely because skunks have few natural predators thanks to their pungent defense mechanism, and there has not been a widespread disease outbreak killing off large numbers of the population in recent years. More than 700 skunks have been trapped to date this year as they scour neighborhoods in search of beetle grubs, berries and other delicacies. Experts say it’s nothing to cause alarm as nature will eventually exert its own population control — skunks typically succumb to an airborne virus known as distemper that also can affect unvaccinated pets.

One skunk hot spot is Des Plaines. Sightings are up significantly and trappings have doubled over the previous year, officials said. The city, unlike many of its neighbors, runs its own animal control program. While it budgeted a little more than $3,000 for skunk removal, this year the city already has spent more than $4,500, Police Chief Jim Prandini said. “It’s a banner year for them,” Prandini said. “Current protocol is to have our animal control inspector offer a cage” so residents can trap the skunks, which then are turned over to ABC Wildlife of Arlington Heights. “We are one of the few towns that still provide a service to handle the problem,” Prandini said. “We’re looking to hopefully speed up the process, get outside animal control vendors involved to reduce some of the work” for city employees.

ABC Wildlife destroys skunks in accordance with state law. Captured skunks cannot be released because they have a higher than average rabies occurrence, officials said. The agency works directly with residents and municipalities throughout the six-county region servicing more than 100 homes a day with traps. In 2010, ABC Wildlife trapped 563 skunks. So far this year, the company has caught 735 skunks. “What keeps their population in check is the control of their food source and disease,” said Rebecca Fyffe, a state-certified wildlife biologist and wildlife educator for ABC Wildlife. Skunks’ preferred snack in preparation for winter is the beetle grub — a high-fat, protein-rich food similar in its nutritional makeup to pine nuts. Fyffe said often, when residents call suspecting moles wrecking their yard, it’s actually skunks digging conical holes in search of grubs. Though skunks troll for food throughout the year, the digging gets more prevalent right before winter months when skunks hole up in dens. – For complete article see

Travel Warnings:

Marshall Islands 10/28/11 & For the first time, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is reporting an outbreak of dengue fever. The cases have been seen almost exclusively in the capital, Majuro. The Ministry of Health is advising all residents of the Marshall Islands on mosquito avoidance measures. There have been as many as 60 confirmed cases of the disease reported in a matter of 48 hours. The rapid rise in the number of cases has prompted authorities to request aid from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.