Montana 08/01/11 dailymail.co.uk: by David Gardner – Former U.S. Ski champion Ani Haas revealed today how she survived a bear attack – by fighting back and punching the charging animal in the face. Ani’s worst fear became horrifying reality last week when she was jogging along a trail in Missoula, Montana. Suddenly, she looked up to see a female bear charging at her with claws and teeth bared. She hadn’t realized, but while she was running she had come between the bear and her two cubs. At first she tried to run away, but quickly remembered the safety warnings she heard growing up in the state where confrontation with bears is always a possibility in the wild. Instead of trying to flee, Ani turned and went toe to toe with the angry animal. ‘I looked behind me, and she was right behind me,’ she told anchor Anne Curry on this morning’s Today show. ‘I realized running from wild animals is the worst thing you can do,’ she added. ‘A wild animal attack has been one of my biggest fears. ‘It’s something I’ve always talked about and been worried about.
‘Growing up in Montana, you’re always hearing what you’re supposed to do in different instances with different animals. ‘All the protocols are different, so I just remembered while everything was happening.’ The bear caught up with Ani and slashed her chest and left arm. But with nobody around on the trail to help her, she had no choice but to fight back. With grizzly bears, animal experts say it is often a good idea to lie down and play dead. But with black bears, it is a better bet to try and frighten off an aggressive attacker. Miss Haas said: ‘That’s exactly what I remembered — just try to be as large and aggressive as you can be. That’s what I tried to do.’
She said she punched the bear repeatedly in the head, landing one blow that even dropped the creature to the ground. But after throwing a rock, the bear only seemed more enraged so Miss Haas backed up slowly. ‘I noticed the more quiet and calm I became, the more quiet she was,’ she said. Incredibly, the bear lost interest and went back to her cubs. Miss Haas walked backwards for about five minutes, praying the bear wouldn’t come back. She then jogged back to her car and drove to the hospital. Miss Haas, who was a member of the U.S. ski team up until last year, said her father bought her a gift after her brush with the bear last Friday. ‘I got an industrial-sized can of bear spray,’ she said.
Washington 07/27/11 wa.gov: Press Release – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to discuss the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan during a special meeting Aug. 4 in Olympia. The special meeting will be followed by a two-day meeting Aug. 5-6, when the commission is scheduled to take action on proposed 2011-12 migratory waterfowl hunting seasons and changes to cougar hunting regulations. The commission’s special meeting on the final Environmental Impact Statement/ Recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 4 in Room 172 on the first floor of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. The commission will meet at the same location Aug. 5-6, beginning at 8:30 a.m. both days. Agendas for both meetings are available on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html. During the special meeting Aug. 4, the commission will receive a briefing and take public comment on the recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The plan is intended to guide state wolf management while wolves naturally disperse and re-establish a sustainable breeding population in the state. The plan contains recovery objectives that would allow the state to eventually remove wolves from protection lists, along with management strategies to address wolf-livestock and wolf-ungulate conflicts. (For complete news release go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/release.php?id=jul2711a )
California 08/01/11 the-signal.com: by Cory Minderhout – A live rabid bat has been found in a Newhall home, a county health department official said Monday, the fifth rabid bat found in the Santa Clarita Valley this year. Thirteen rabid bats have been found countywide so far this year, according to a health department website. Typically, only eight to 10 rabid bats are found each year in L.A. County, the website said. The rabid bat found alive in a Newhall home was discovered Friday. The mammal was not reported to have come into contact with any humans or pets, said Dr. Karen Ehnert, acting director for the veterinary public health and rabies control program for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Connecticut 08/01/11 theday.com: by Judy Benson – A skunk found near Long Pond Road has tested positive for rabies, the Ledge Light Health District announced today. A resident of the area reported seeing the skunk last week, but it took a few days for the town animal control officer to capture the animal, Ryan McCammon, senior sanitarian at Ledge Light, said today. The skunk was caught and killed Saturday on property owned by the resident who reported the skunk and sent it to the state lab for tests. The results were available today. Notices are being posted in the neighborhood notifying residents about the rabid skunk, he said. McCammon said it does not appear the skunk had any contact with dogs or humans. Ledge Light reminds the public to refrain from feeding or approaching any wild or stray animals. For information, call the health district at (860) 448-4882 or the town animal control officer at (860) 464-9621.
Oregon 07/31/11 registerguard.com: by Saul Hubbard – Two recent cases of rabid bats in Lane County — one confirmed, one suspected — should serve as a reminder to local residents to vaccinate their pets and take all close encounters with the flying mammals very seriously, officials say. Last month, a Cottage Grove resident found a sickly bat lying grounded among his herd of goats. After a rabies test on the bat came back positive, all the goats were put into quarantine to determine whether any of them develop the disease. A few weeks later, an Oakridge resident killed a bat that was fighting with her dog. She then tossed the bat’s body into a nearby river, making a rabies test impossible. The resident ultimately opted to have the 15-year-old dog euthanized rather than go through lengthy solitary quarantine. Between 10 and 20 confirmed cases of rabies in animals still occur every year in Oregon, said Emilio DeBess, the state’s public health vetenarian. The vast majority of them are bats, although over the past two years a number of foxes near Cave Junction in Josephine County have tested positive for the disease. Twelve cases have occurred in Lane County since 2000, at a maximum incidence of three in a single year, and, of the 43 cases in the county since 1960, all but two have been in bats.
Indiana 08/01/11 wishtv.com: by Amanda Johnson – The West Nile Virus has been found in Bartholomew County, 24-Hour News 8’s news partner, The Republic , reports. Mosquitoes were discovered along a tree line behind the old Columbus wastewater treatment plant on Water Street. The Health Department confirmed the presence of the virus Friday. This is the fourth sighting of the virus in Indiana this summer — the first two in Hamilton and Allen County , and last week Marion County discovered the presence of it.
Ohio 07/31/11 tallmadgepress.com: by Jeremy Nobile – The Summit County Health District confirmed a mosquito carrying the West Nile virus was captured in Tallmadge July 15. Terry Tuttle, environmental health supervisor with the Summit County Health District, said the specimen was caught in the northwest area of Tallmadge near Franklin and Mark drives — less than one mile from the Akron border.
The discovery marks the first pest caught within Tallmadge city limits this season, but the 11th in Summit County. A virus-carrying mosquito was caught near Tallmadge in Goodyear Heights during the first week of July. That insect was found near Foxboro and Eastwood avenues, across the street from Essex Healthcare of Tallmadge. “We’ve been catching a lot lately,” said Tuttle. “This is the most we’ve ever trapped [this far into] a season.” Other West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes have been found in New Franklin, Cuyahoga Falls, Copley and Twinsburg Township.
North Carolina 08/01/11 go.com: by Greg Barnes – Animal control, along with the assistance of a wildlife damage control company and local law enforcement, is getting stray dogs off the street. “These dogs, these packs are dangerous, we don’t want anybody getting hurt,” Cumberland County Animal Control Director John Lauby said. The dogs Lauby is referring to are among six stray dogs captured over the weekend by a wildlife damage control company that works for the county. Animal control officers say they use baited traps along with tranquilizer darts to snare the pack dogs. Lauby says for now, Fayetteville police and Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies will observe and report locations of any stray or wild dog packs they see, but they are not under new orders to shoot and kill. “If we have to do off post euthanasia, [I] want my officers to do that,” Lauby said. “That’s our responsibility as distasteful as it is.”
Animal control officials say as many as 150 wild dogs may be roaming Fayetteville’s streets. Packs have been reported in more than a dozen neighborhoods across the city. Lauby says not all pack dogs are wild. Some dogs are pets that have been abandoned. Animal control says some of the confirmed wildlife rabies cases this year are in neighborhoods where the wild dogs roam. The concern is that the dog packs could come in contact with a rabid animal and then go after humans or theft pets. Wild or stray, animal control officers say for now, any and all dogs on the street with no collar or rabies tag will be picked up. Pet owners whose animals are not vaccinated could face a stiff fine. “There is a $100 fine for not having your dogs vaccinated, or not having a county or rabies tag on the dog when it’s off your property,” Lauby added. Officers say you can’t take any chances with rabies. The wild dog tracking teams will be out every night. Animal control has set up a hotline. Call (910) 321-6861 to report locations of stray or wild dog packs.