Tag Archives: Distemper

Missouri confirms captive WHITE-TAILED DEER tested positive for CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ South Carolina wildlife professionals say COYOTE population increase is significant ~ and RABIES reports from Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia.

White-tailed buck. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Missouri 10/20/11 mo.gov: News Release – The Missouri departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Health and Senior Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that a captive white-tailed deer in Macon County, Missouri has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. “We have a plan in place and our team is actively working to ensure that this situation is addressed quickly and effectively,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Linda Hickam. “Fortunately there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans, non cervid livestock, household pets or food safety.” The animal that tested positive for CWD was a captive white-tailed deer inspected as part of the State’s CWD surveillance and testing program. Preliminary tests were conducted by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. – For complete news release go to http://mda.mo.gov/news/2011/Chronic_Wasting_Disease_Found_in_Captive_Deer

South Carolina 10/20/11 wbtv.com: by Trent Faris – Chris Joyce manages a 17-hundred acre wild life game preserve in Lancaster County; four years ago he wouldn’t see any coyotes on his property. “This year we’ve already seen three different packs (about) seven to 10,” said Joyce. The coyotes have wreaked havoc on his duck population. “They’ve eaten 600 ducks this year alone,” said Joyce. The coyotes are also eating rabbits, turkeys and deer fawns. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says since 2002, the deer population has declined by more than 30 percent mostly due to coyotes. “Coyotes are non native invasive species to South Carolina Coyotes are not originally from South Carolina,” said Officer Shawn Hannah, game warden with SCDNR.

Hanna says coyotes first appeared in the upstate in 1978 illegally imported into South Carolina for hound running, they are now present all over the state. Now the coyotes that are here are breeding and spreading. “With urban sprawl and the population increase of the coyotes you’re going to see them,” said Joyce. Some coyote sightings have even been in people’s back yards. Hannah says coyotes try to avoid humans so it’s rare for humans to see coyotes, but it does happen.  “It could have distemper, it could have rabies, it could be lost, it could be injured looking for a place to die,” said Hannah. Since the coyote population has become such a problem, DNR has developed a plan. “You can now hunt coyotes 365 days a year, 24 hours a day with the proper weapons,” said Hannah, making old Wylie less of a predator on the food chain. To find out more about coyotes and what to do if you see one go to http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/coyote/index.html

Alabama 10/19/11 Florala, Covington County: FERAL CAT that bit WOMAN trying to feed it tested positive for RABIES. See http://www.andalusiastarnews.com/2011/10/19/rabid-cat-interrupts-bama-game/

California 10//20/11 Berkeley, Alameda County: BAT found 3 miles north of UC-Berkeley campus tested positive for RABIES. See http://www.dailycal.org/2011/10/20/bat-infected-with-rabies-found-in-north-berkeley/

Florida 10/19/11 Stuart, Martin County: Health officials confirm county’s first case of RABIES this year found in a young RACCOON. See http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/oct/19/martin-county-gets-its-first-verified-case-rabies/

Louisiana 10/19/11 Central, East Baton Rouge Parish: Dead BAT found on a resident’s lawn tested positive for RABIES. See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/f476a9791c874b9c8c0773c9edfb46f9/LA–Dead-Bat-Rabies/

Maine 10/20/11 Mexico, Oxford County: FERAL CAT tested positive for RABIES. See http://www.sunjournal.com/news/river-valley/2011/10/20/state-vet-cats-most-dangerous-rabies-carrier/1103855

North Carolina 10/20/11 Warren County: RACCOON collected in the county’s northwest section tested positive for RABIES and is the 8th case of the virus confirmed in the county this year. See http://www.vancnews.com/articles/2011/10/19/warrenton/news/news57.txt

Pennsylvania 10/20/11 Centre County: CAT in Harris Township, and RACCOON in Ferguson Township, both tested positive for RABIES. See http://www.centredaily.com/2011/10/20/2957228/c.html

Texas 10/19/11 New Boston, Bowie County: Number of SKUNKS in general, and SKUNKS with RABIES in particular, have significantly increased this year. See http://www.news-journal.com/bowiecounty/news/rabies-outbreak-deemed-moderate/article_109aed9a-8ed4-5cd0-9321-99023ae43bb2.html

Virginia 10/19/11 Williamsburg: RACCOON found near Rawls Byrd Elementary School tested positive for RABIES. See http://wydaily.com/local-news/7533-rabid-raccoon-found-near-rawls-byrd-elementary.html

Moose Hunter in Alaska attacked by GRIZZLY ~ RABIES reports from California, Maryland (2), North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio ~ an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from Massachusetts ~ and a WEST NILE VIRUS report from New York ~ Canada: RACCOON DISTEMPER rampant in Nova Scotia.

Grizzly. Courtesy National Park Service.

Alaska 09/21/11 nwsource.com: by Casey Grove – A moose hunter attacked by a grizzly bear in north Alaska survived the severe mauling Monday after hiking to his camp, traveling by boat down river to a wilderness lodge then getting an airlift via Alaska Air National Guard helicopter to an Anchorage hospital. Donald “Skip” Sanford, 65, was hunting about five miles upriver from the Maclaren River Lodge when the bear attacked, according to Alaska State Troopers. Sanford had been hunting with his son John, 12, his friend Monty Dyson, 47, and Dyson’s son Chad, 22, Dyson said. Dyson relayed Sanford’s story Tuesday by radio phone from the lodge, which sits on the Denali Highway 42 miles east of Cantwell, Alaska. Sanford walked away from camp Monday about 2 or 3 p.m. to find a handheld radio he lost earlier, Dyson said. Sanford was on a game trail when he saw the bear stand up, Dyson said. Sanford backed up, but the bear seemed to circle around him, Dyson said. Sanford told rescuers he first saw the grizzly about 75 yards away from him, said Joe Snyder, one of the many people at the lodge who helped treat Sanford and get him out of the wilderness. The bear quickly closed the gap between them, Snyder said. “He turned around and the bear was about 20 yards away, and it was coming at him pretty fast with its head down,” Snyder said.

Sanford — a “tougher than nails” ex-Marine and a Vietnam veteran, Snyder said — had just enough time to fire one shot from his .30-06 rifle before the bear grabbed him. The bear’s claws dug into Sanford’s back, near his kidneys, Snyder said. It bit his head, tearing an ear and leaving deep wounds with its canine teeth at the base of Sanford’s skull, Snyder said. Dyson said he heard the shot and turned his own radio on. “He was just mumbling. ‘Monty, a bear got me. A bear got me,'” Dyson said. Dyson couldn’t figure out Sanford’s location, so he started walking toward where he’d heard the gunshot. Dyson found his friend covered in blood, he said. “Skip said he remembered his head being in the bear’s mouth, just going at him,” Dyson said. “All he could do then was pray to the Lord that the bear would let go.” Sanford guessed the attack lasted about 45 seconds, Dyson said. The walk back to camp was more than an hour, and Dyson radioed his son to prepare a boat to float down the river, he said.

Alaska ANG HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter

Back in camp, they loaded Sanford into a small boat, and Chad Dyson, holding a rope attached to the boat, floated him down the Maclaren River. Along the way, they met another group of hunters who used a satellite phone to call troopers, who called the lodge, Dyson said. Two men, including Snyder, drove a jet boat from there to meet the hunters, Snyder said. “Skip was laying flat in the small boat, with severe bleeding, shivering, probably going into shock at that point,” Snyder said. “He was just bloody. It was just full of blood. So I knew we had a situation on our hands.” They loaded Sanford into the jet boat, started first aid and rushed him to the lodge, Snyder said. “There wasn’t a person here who didn’t help out in some way,” Snyder said. Meantime, the troopers had requested help from the Alaska Air National Guard because of the remote location and the severity of Sanford’s injuries, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said. Snyder said they laid Sanford down in the dining room and wrapped him up in warm blankets from a drier. “He would just snuggle into it and go, ‘Ohh.’ He really liked that,” Snyder said.

Grizzly with moose kill

Later, an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter with two pararescuemen landed at the lodge, according to the Air Guard. The rescuers hopped out and helped put more bandages on Sanford while the helicopter took off and refueled in the air with an HC-130 that had also been dispatched, the Guard said. When the helicopter landed again, the rescuers loaded Sanford inside and then flew him to Providence Alaska Medical Center, troopers said. A Providence spokeswoman said Sanford was listed in “fair” condition late Tuesday. Dyson, his hunting buddy, returned to the camp to take down their tents and find Sanford’s backpack, which he’d dropped during the mauling: It was about 30 yards from a moose carcass, Dyson said. “That bear was protecting a moose kill that he had there, and Skip just came up on it, and I think that’s probably why the bear attacked him,” Dyson said.

California 09/20/11 dailybulletin.com: by Lori Consalvo – The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health recently told Rancho Cucamonga officials that a bat submitted for analysis tested positive for rabies, according to a city news release. The bat was found Sept. 11 at a home in the northeastern end of the city and picked up by an animal care officer for testing. Three of the homeowner’s dogs exposed to the bat were immediately quarantined. “It’s not as big a deal because the owner was very wise and had her dogs vaccinated,” said Joe Pulcinella, Animal Services Director for the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care and Services Department. Rabies is not common on the West Coast – only seven bats tested positive for rabies in 2010 in San Bernardino County – and it is a very difficult disease to transmit, Pulcinella said. The last confirmed case of rabies in the county in a domestic animal was a cat in 1993, according to the news release.

Maryland 09/20/11 stardem.com: A stray cat from Trappe was confirmed Monday to be infected with rabies. The Talbot County Health Department’s Office of Environmental Health received notification from the State of Maryland Rabies Laboratory that the cat tested positive for the rabies virus.

USDA Oral Rabies Program

Maryland 09/20/11 chron.com: Anne Arundel County health officials are taking to the air to vaccinate raccoons for rabies. Health officials say they are distributing about 70,000 bait packs containing the rabies vaccine by helicopter this year. Health officials say immunizing raccoons helps reduce human and pet exposure to rabies. County officials say the program began in 1998 on the Annapolis peninsula, which had one of the highest concentrations of rabid animals in the state. Due to the program’s success, it was extended in 2001 to the Broadneck peninsula, and to the entire county in 2003.

North Carolina 09/20/11 wcnc.com: from an article by Michelle Boudin – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Control officers are canvassing a northeast Charlotte neighborhood off Starwood Avenue. They’re looking for witnesses after a rabid fox fought with a dog in his owner’s backyard. Neighbors say they have seen the fox roaming the area for the last month. Last week the fox came into a yard at 10718 Starwood Avenue where there were two dogs and one of them fought with the fox. Animal Control took possession of that dog and is trying to figure out the status of both dogs’ rabies vaccinations. The fox was sent for testing and confirmed positive for rabies.

North Dakota 09/21/11 kfgo.com: Fargo police are asking the public’s help in finding a cat that bit a 10-year-old boy. The attack happened around 4:30 p.m. yesterday near the 600 block of 10th Ave. North. It isn’t known whether the cat is up to date on rabies shots. If the cat can’t be found, the boy will have to undergo a series of rabies shots. The medium-sized cat is black with orange stripes. If you have any information on the cat, you’re asked to call Fargo Police.

Ohio 09/20/11 the-daily-record.com: by Bobby Warren – A resident in the western part of the city has started rabies treatments after being bitten by a bat carrying the virus, the county’s top health official said. The resident was bitten by the bat on Wednesday, and it was submitted to the Ohio Department of Health lab for testing, Wayne County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Halley said. The person was informed on Friday the bat was infected, and it was his understanding the person sought treatment. Through Wednesday, 20 other Ohio counties reported some type of animal testing positive for rabies, including Medina, where a bat tested positive, according to information on the Ohio Department of Health website. The bat in Wooster was the 30th to be found with the rabies virus in the state this year. There also have been four raccoons and two skunks. This is the second bat in Wayne County to test positive for rabies in the past 13 months. The Health Department reported in August 2010 a bat found in a downtown Wooster home also was a carrier of the virus. There were seven bats determined to have the virus between1994-2008.

Massachusetts 09/21/11 telegram.com: by Elaine Thompson – Eastern equine encephalitis has been detected in mosquitoes (in Westboro) in the area of St. Luke’s Cemetery on Route 135. The state Department of Public Health made the announcement this afternoon. Last year, 65 positive samples of EEE were found in Massachusetts. The only EEE detected in Worcester County was in Bolton. This year, 75 positive samples have been taken in the state. Two samples of mosquitoes in Shrewsbury tested positive for the virus Sept. 15. An elderly Bristol County man, who was hospitalized on Aug. 29, is the first human case of EEE in Massachusetts this year.

Albany County

New York 09/21/11 washingtonexaminer.com: Albany County health officials believe recent flooding led to the first-ever human case of West Nile virus in the county. The county Department of Health would only identify the person Wednesday as an adult over the age of 60. They said the person is recovering at home after a short hospitalization. The West Nile virus is mild for most people, but can be deadly for others with weak immune systems. Mosquitoes transmit the disease. Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. James Crucetti says the case appears to be a direct consequence of the floods caused by the recent tropical storms.


Nova Scotia 09/20/11 thechronicleherald.ca: by Ian Fairclough – For at least the third time in a decade, distemper is spreading through Nova Scotia’s raccoon population. The disease is always present in nature, but it is more prevalent than normal this year in Kings, Hants and Colchester counties, says the Natural Resources Department. “It will definitely knock the population down,” says Mike Boudreau, a biologist with the department. “It’s always there but when you have a high spike in population, it spreads amongst them fairly quickly. If you have high population density in one area, it can be passed a lot easier because they’re so social.” Raccoons are susceptible to infection of both canine and feline distemper, caused by two different viruses. It initially appears as an upper respiratory infection, with a runny nose and watery eyes. As time wears on, the raccoon can develop pneumonia. In the disease’s final stage, brain damage may cause it to be paralyzed or exhibit odd behaviour such as wandering aimlessly in a circle. Boudreau said the symptoms are similar to those of rabies; either way, people should keep their distance.

Alaska reports Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning; California reports 38 Rodents with Hantavirus in San Diego County so far this year; West Nile Virus reports from California, Missouri, and Ohio; and Rabies reports from North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. CDC zoonotic disease summary for week ending June 11, 2011. Travel Warnings for India, and St. Lucia.

Illustration courtesy National Institutes of Health.

Alaska 06/23/11 state.ak.us: Epidemiology Bulletin –  On June 6, 2011, the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE) received a report that a person had been medevaced from Metlakatla to Ketchikan due to possible paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).  SOE personnel conducted interviews and collected shellfish from ill persons and at implicated beaches. As a result, eight probable and five confirmed PSP cases were identified in Metlakatla. Additionally, while the epidemiologists were in Metlakatla, two persons were hospitalized in Ketchikan with suspected PSP. Subsequent active case finding in Ketchikan identified five more probable cases. One other confirmed case of PSP in Ketchikan had been reported to SOE in May. In total, 21 cases of PSP were identified in Southeast Alaska during May and June, 2011. Of these 21 cases, 15 (71%) were associated with cockles, four (19%) with blue mussels, one (5%) with butter clams and cockles, and one (5%) with unspecified clams. Four of the 21 (19%) ill persons were hospitalized; none died. Eight of the 21 (38%) ill persons had laboratory-confirmed PSP.

Metlakatla, Alaska

Implicated shellfish collected from both Metlakatla and Ketchikan tested positive for high levels of saxitoxin. PSP is a potentially fatal neuroparalytic condition that results from ingestion of saxitoxin, a marine toxin produced by dinoflagellate algae, that accumulates in bivalve mollusks. PSP can result in mild symptoms, such as short-lived parasthesia of the mouth or lips, or can cause severe illness with respiratory or cardiac involvement that can be fatal. Symptoms occur within minutes to hours of consumption.

Deer mouse

California 06/22/11 sdcounty.ca.gov: Press Release – Six rodents trapped during routine monitoring in the last week in North County and East County have tested positive for the potentially-deadly hantavirus. Infected rodents rarely pose a danger to people if they are in the wild and there has been just one non-fatal human case in the county, in 2004. But people can inhale hantavirus by stirring up rodent droppings, then get sick and even die. There is no treatment, vaccine or cure for hantavirus infections, which are deadly in 38 percent of cases. “People should never sweep up or vacuum rodent droppings or nesting material when they find it,” said Jack Miller, director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “Instead, they should ventilate closed areas for at least 30 minutes, and then carefully use bleach or a full-strength disinfectant before removing them.”

California vole

The best way people can prevent the disease is to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds by sealing holes larger than the size of a dime, County officials said. Hantavirus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which begins with flu-like symptoms but can grow into severe breathing difficulties and even death. The rodents that tested positive during the last week included: two deer mice from Campo; one deer mouse each from Carlsbad and Escondido; one harvest mouse from Oceanside and a vole from Carlsbad. Thirty-eight rodents have tested positive for hantavirus in the county this year, compared to 21 in 2010. For more information, contact the County Department of Environmental Health at (858) 694-2888 or visit DEH’s Hantavirus page.

California 06/23/11 sacbee.com: by Bill Lindelof – Another dead crow suspected of carrying the West Nile Virus has been found in the Sacramento area. The bird was found in the Arden-Arcade neighborhood. Earlier, it was confirmed that a dead crow in Elk Grove had tested positive for the West Nile virus. In 2010, six deaths and 111 human West Nile Virus cases were reported in the state. To report dead birds, call the California Department of Public Health hotline at (877) 968-2473.

Missouri 06/23/11 st-louis.mo.us: Department of Health Press Release – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been discovered in communities ranging from Lemay to Florissant, although no human cases have been reported, according to the Saint Louis County Department of Health. Positive results have also been reported in mosquitoes in Mehlville, Richmond Heights, Clayton, Hanley Hills and Manchester.

North Carolina 06/22/11gastongazette.com: by Wade Allen – A Gastonia man killed a raccoon Monday that has tested positive for rabies, marking the third documented rabies case in Gaston this year. The raccoon attacked a dog belonging to Darren Wells, who lives on Acapulco Drive. The neighborhood is off Monterey Park Drive. He killed the raccoon Monday and contacted the Gaston County Animal Control officials, who investigated and sent the carcass to the State Diagnostics Lab in Raleigh. Wells declined to comment on the incident or the dog he turned over to Animal Control for euthanasia; it had not been vaccinated for rabies. In February, a rabid puppy was found off Hickory Grove Road near McAdenville, marking the first documented rabies case in 2011. The second involved a rabid raccoon that attacked farm animals at the Stanley home of Linda Burchfield. This marks the 23rd documented case of rabies in Gaston County since 2006.

Ohio 06/23/11 dispatch.com: by Molly Gray – Two pools of mosquitoes collected by Columbus Public Health have tested positive for West Nile Virus. These are the first reported cases found in the city and state this season. The positive tests were collected from areas south of Downtown that were recently sprayed. For more information on West Nile Virus and weekly fogging schedules, go to www.publichealth.columbus.gov .

Pennsylvania 06/22/11 necn.com:  A fox is being tested for rabies after it bit a central Pennsylvania woman and attacked a wildlife officer who killed the animal after he was called in by local police. Blair County Wildlife Conservation Officer Stephen Hanczar tells the Altoona-Mirror that the animal “came directly at me” Tuesday. He had to knock the animal far enough away with the butt of his shotgun so he could kill it without destroying the animal’s head. The head was needed to complete tests for rabies, canine distemper and other diseases. Police in Logan Township, near Altoona, are not identifying the 23-year-old woman who was bitten on the heel by the fox while taking her dog outside Tuesday morning. She’s being treated for rabies as a precaution.

CDC-MMWR Week ending June 11, 2011 /60(23); 789-802:

Zoonotic disease cases in the U. S. by state reported to the CDC for the week ending June 11, 2011:

Babesiosis . . . 2 cases . . . New York (2);

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . North Dakota;

Q Fever . . . 1 . . . Florida;

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Indiana;

Ehrlichosis . . . 12 . . . Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri (4), New York, Tennessee (3), Virginia;

Anaplasmosis . . . 4 . . . Maine (2), New York (2);

Giardia . . . 147 . . . Alabama (2), Arizona (2), California (15), Colorado (17), Florida (23), Georgia (12), Iowa, Idaho (2), Maine, Maryland (10), Michigan (3), Missouri (5), Nebraska (2), Nevada (2), New York (27), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (3), Vermont (2), Virginia (3), Washington (7), Wisconsin (2);

 Lyme Disease . . . 233 . . . California, Connecticut (2), Delaware (7), Florida (4), Maine (2), Maryland (12), Michigan, New Hampshire (2), New Jersey, New York (56), Pennsylvania (118), Tennessee, Texas, Vermont (5), Virginia (16), Wisconsin (4);

Rabies, Animal . . . 62 . . . Alabama, Arizona, Kansas (2), Maine (2), Michigan, New York (9), North Dakota (3), Utah, Virginia (12), West Virginia (30).

Travel Warnings:

India 06/24/11 gulfnews.com: by Lata Rani –  Health experts have finally identified the “killer disease” which has killed close to 40 children, aged between two and eight years, in the past week, creating panic among the families in Bihar. The experts came to this conclusion after two days of extensive examination of victims in city hospitals and a study of symptoms noticed in them. All the victims had displayed high fever and bouts of unconsciousness as well as convulsions. “Right now we can say the reason for the deaths of children is encephalitis but at this stage it’s difficult to say what kind of encephalitis it is — whether Japanese or viral one. This can only be ascertained after a detailed clinical test,” Dr I.P. Chaudhary, a member of three-member central team from Federal Health Ministry, told the media Thursday.

St. Lucia 06/23/11 jamaicaobserver.com: Public health officials have warned of “disturbing” levels of dengue fever and leptospirosis cases on the island. The warning came as the health department launched a public education and clean-up campaign to rid the island of disease-carrying mosquitos and rats. Public health officials attributed the exceptionally high number of infections to the rainy weather in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, they told journalists yesterday.  Last month, there were over 40 recorded cases of dengue fever, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. So so far this year there were 169 reported cases of dengue fever as compared to 95 cases in 2010 and only 18 in 2009, she said.

USFWS proposes to delist Gray Wolves in Minnesota as conservative groups file suit in Montana against delisting Gray Wolves in other states; an infestation of Gulf Coast Ticks raises concerns in Virginia; and a Rabies report from Colorado. Canada: Campaign to vaccinate Raccoons for Rabies begins in Quebec.

Gray wolf. Photo by Chris Muiden. Wikimedia Commons.

Minnesota 05/09/11 courthousenews.com: by Travis Sanford – Just weeks after the U.S. Congress’ unprecedented move to strip gray wolves of their Endangered Species Act protection in five states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to delist the Minnesota population of gray wolves. The agency also proposes to rescind critical habitat for the wolves in all or parts of 29 eastern states because it now says that the territory was not part of the wolves’ historical range. If the proposed change is adopted, the management of the wolves would revert to each state. In Minnesota, this would mean that anyone could harass a wolf that came within 500 yards of another person, a building, livestock or a domestic pet, and kill any wolf posing an immediate threat to their animals. The state will ensure a minimum population of 1,600 wolves, according to its management plan. If the population falls below that number, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will readjust its management policies. As with any delisting decision, including the one ordered by Congress, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to monitor the delisted population for five years to determine that delisting does not threaten the long term survival of the species. The proposed changes in critical habitat are based on new genetic information indicating that there are three species of gray wolves in the continental U.S.: Canis lupus, Canis lycaon and Canis rufus. The agency now will begin a full status review of all subpopulations of the three recognized species not covered by the recent delisting decisions.

Montana 05/10/11 globalanimal.org: Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians today filed suit in federal court in Montana against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for delisting wolves in Montana, Idaho, and portions of Utah, Washington, and Oregon. The decision to remove gray wolves’ protected status from the endangered species act was announced yesterday, leaving at least 5,500 wolves susceptible to attack. Public wolf hunts are already planned this fall in Montana and Idaho, and Montana officials are proposing a 220 wolf quota for their first hunt since 2009–up from the 75 wolf quota stated in that year. According to Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore, the state is now in charge of all aspects of what he calls wolf management. “We believe there is still enough snow on the ground that we can pursue those animals via aerial gunning and try to reduce those numbers,” Virgil told The Lewiston Tribune. Michael Markarian of the Humane Society retorts, “Not only did the White House and Congress sign off on eliminating federal species protection by legislative fiat, but now it appears that federal wildlife agents will actually be the ones to conduct the shooting of wolves from aircraft.”

Groups against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service say that the wolf delisting rider cannot simply outweigh the Endangered Species act. The rider reinstates a 2009 wolf delisting rule that was already determined illegal in August 2010 by Montana Federal Judge Donald Molloy. “We are doing all we can to hold back the tide of wolf-killing in Montana, Idaho, and elsewhere in the Northern Rockies,” said Gary Macfarlane of Friends of the Clearwater. “This ecologically important species is being unfairly targeted out of ignorance and intolerance and now lacks a federal shield from killing.” “Congress has never before delisted species from the Endangered Species list. There is a well-established legal process that applies to every other species. Congress simply should not get into the business of making decisions over which of our nation’s imperiled animals and plants will and will not get protection,” said Michael Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “We’re back in court for two reasons,” concluded Garrity. “First and foremost, it’s to continue to protect wolves from indiscriminate slaughter. Second, someone has to stand up when the basic tenets of our government are under attack by unscrupulous politicians and that would be the Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians.”

Virginia05/09/11 nbcwashington.com: by Julie Carey – A new infestation is

Gulf Coast Tick. (A) Female / (B) Male.

causing concern at the Fairfax County, Va., Health Department. Ticks normally found in Gulf Coast states have been discovered in a landfill off Interstate 66 in the Fair Oaks area. Because the ticks can carry disease, the health department is pressing hard to contain them. A handful of the ticks show up in the area each year, probably dropped from migratory birds. Last July, the health department was surprised to find 69 of the Gulf Coast ticks when they treated a fawn from the landfill at an animal shelter. Officials dragged sailcloth and adhesive sheets over the landfill, which was closed in 1982 and is now covered with trees and grass, to collect more ticks, and they found a lot from the Gulf Coast, 42 percent of which carried the bacterium ricksettia parkeri, which can cause a type of Rocky Mountain spotted fever disease. The Gulf Coast ticks do not carry Lyme disease. Tick traps dot the landfill, now, as health department staffers collect them every week trying to learn more about the ticks and their population. The landfill is fenced off and gates are closed to discourage deer. Workers at the waste transfer station, which also sits on the property, have had special training to keep them tick free at the end of the day. The health department will also soon dispatch Johns Hopkins students to study other areas of the county to make sure the Gulf Coast tick hasn’t spread.

Colorado 05/10/11 coloradoconnection.com: by Jaryd Wilson – Public Health Dept. officials announced Monday two more skunks tested positive for rabies in Pueblo. Both skunks were picked up east of the City of Pueblo due to observance of abnormal behavior from the skunks. Neither skunk had contact with humans or pets. One of the skunks was near Ashley Avenue in the city, and the other was near the intersection of 30th Lane and Everett Road. These are the third and fourth skunks found with rabies in Pueblo this year. In addition, six skunks and a fox have been found with rabies in El Paso County.


Quebec 05/09/11 westislandgazette.com: Visitors to the Cap St. Jacques nature park are asked to keep away from animal cages they may spot and to keep their dogs on leash. The cages are being used to capture raccoons so that they may be vaccinated to prevent distemper and rabies. “The project will last until June 9,” Valérie De Gagné, spokeswoman for the city of Montreal, said adding that such vaccination campaigns are carried out through various nature parks on the island every year. She said the campaign at the Cap St. Jacques park, located at the western tip of Montreal island, is preventative and noted that as far as she knew, there has never been a reported case of distemper or rabies in a wild animal on the island of Montreal. De Gagné said notices regarding the campaign will be posted throughout the park, which at 288 hectares, is the largest nature park in Montreal. For more information, go to ville.montreal.qc.ca/grandsparcs

Dengue Fever reported in Hawaii; Coyote report from Massachusetts; Raccoon and Rabies report from New Jersey (2); and Skunks reported to be overwhelming Roswell, New Mexico. Travel Warnings for Australia. Zoonoses: Murray Valley Encephalitis.


Hawaii 03/24/11 hawaiinewsnow.com: The state Department of Health is investigating two confirmed cases and two suspected cases of Oahu residents who became ill with dengue fever in late February.  All four adults have recovered and are no longer ill.  Based on the ongoing investigation, the four cases appear to be related and were infected near their homes by mosquitoes.  “The Department of Health immediately began precautionary measures by conducting additional testing, surveying and developing a mosquito control plan for the specific areas where these four individuals were likely infected,” said Interim Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “We need the public’s help to clean up mosquito breeding areas throughout Oahu by emptying all standing water, and checking gutters and other areas that collect water.”  For more information visit http://hawaii.gov/health/DIB/Dengue.html .

Massachusetts 03/24/11 newburyportnews.com: by Dave Rogers – Annapolis Way residents Paul and Laura Daubitz’s cat Sammie has been missing since Friday.  As the days since they last saw their 4-year-old coon cat go by, it is becoming increasingly apparent to the Daubitzes that Sammie may have been killed by a coyote.  Paul Daubitz said he was talking to a neighbor two days after his cat didn’t return home and was told that coyotes were living behind her house. He went behind her house to find what looked like animal paths and feces.  “If there are coyotes running around, Plum Island is very dense,” Paul Daubitz said. “If we have a lair here, this is not acceptable.”

Newbury police Chief Michael Reilly said his department is treating the matter as if there were an actual coyote sighting. But as of yesterday, their presence hadn’t been confirmed.  “We’re going under the assumption that they are in the area,” Reilly said.  So far, Reilly has contacted the department’s animal control officer and the state environmental police to come up with a procedure to capture and humanely remove any coyotes, if possible. A link to the state’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife detailing actions if one comes in contact with coyotes has been added to the Police Department’s website.

George Finigan, a Bryn Mawr Way resident, said he saw a coyote about a month ago running across the Plum Island marsh during low tide. More recently, he and his family have heard noises outside their house at night that sounded like something being attacked.  Finigan said the thought of coyotes around his area gives him pause considering he has two dogs. One of them weighs around 45 pounds and would probably be too big a target for coyotes. But his smaller dog, a roughly 14-pound Westie, could be in trouble.  “It would make a good meal for a coyote,” Finigan said.  If there are coyotes on Newbury’s section of Plum Island, they’re likely across the border in Newburyport, too.

While Newburyport police Lt. Rick Siemasko said his department hasn’t received any recent reports of coyotes, he knows the predators are out there.  “I’m sure they don’t know where the town line is,” Siemasko said.  With a large number of houses on a relatively small strip of land, it may be only a matter of time before a resident or visitor comes face-to-face with the dog-like creatures.  In recent years, coyotes have been spotted in multiple Greater Newburyport communities. Almost two years ago in Georgetown, one resident claimed to have seen a coyote come on to his porch and snatch his cat with its jaws. Around the same time, Haverhill police issued a warning to those walking their dogs after a Groveland woman said a pack of coyotes cornered her and her four dogs while walking on Salem Street.  To access the Newbury Police Department’s link on living with coyotes, visit: http://www.newburypolicedept.com/Links.html and click “Local Coyote Issues.

New Jersey 03/24/11 capemaycountyherald.com: Since March 1, there has been an increase in animal control calls within Middle Township involving raccoons. Generally they involved raccoons behaving strangely, such as out in daylight, acting sluggish or “drunk”, or just looking as if they are sick. It is believed some may have been suffering from distemper. According to the Cape May County Health Department there are no known cases of rabies at this point. We would like to remind all residents and visitors to avoid interaction with these animals or other animals acting in a strange manner. If an animal is presenting a problem to you or your family, contact Middle Township Police at 465-8700 and ask for Animal Control. Only use 911 if an emergency exists. Have a safe and enjoyable spring.

New Jersey 03/23/11 shorenewstoday.com: The Atlantic County Division of Public Health announced that a second raccoon collected in Northfield has been found to be rabid.  Seen wandering along properties on Bonnie Lee Drive during the daylight, the raccoon was captured March 10 and was confirmed positive for rabies by the state lab March 16. Officials said there were no known human exposures.  This is the fifth confirmed case of rabies in Atlantic County this year, all of which have involved raccoons. Two others were found in Egg Harbor Township, and one was collected in Pleasantville.  Report contacts to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, (609) 645-5971.

New Mexico 03/24/11 krqe.com: by Celina Westervelt – Animal control officers in Roswell are dealing with a stinky situation.  Skunks are invading the city, and they say you can blame La Niña.  “Right there he was, and before he could say ‘Good-Morning James,’ in the very ugly way they do, I jumped back,” said James Bunch who recently encountered a skunk at Mayes Lumber Company in Roswell.  Bunch said a close encounter of the smelly kind is now a daily occurrence.  “They’re searching for water,” said Bunch.  “They’re searching for food, and they’re searching for shelter.”  He and animal control officers believe because it’s been so dry, skunks are invading the city seeking relief. Animal control officers trapped 12 skunks this month alone, and they said that’s almost double compared to this time last year.   “We’ve had an increase in skunk problems this year,” Roswell Animal Control Officer Orlando Padilla said.  “It’s getting pretty bad right now.”

Skunks do not carry only an offensive odor, they’re also one of the biggest carriers of rabies and other diseases in the animal kingdom.  Officers use a sheet to protect themselves from the spray when clearing skunk traps.  They say residents should call them immediately if they encounter a skunk on their property, and recommend blocking up any holes where skunks might live.  At Mayes Lumber Company, the foul smelling creatures are stinking up business there and around the neighborhood.  “Every business owner on this block has personally come up and said is that smell you?”  Bush said.  He said they are thankful he is trapping the creatures and keeping them away from their property.  Animal control officers euthanize the skunks they catch.  To cut down on skunk encounters, they recommend that you don’t leave out cat food, which skunks love, as well as water.

Travel Warnings:

Australia 03/25/11 heraldsun.com.au: by Marianne Betts –New detections of the Murray Valley encephalitis in chickens has prompted a fresh warning from health authorities for Victorians to protect themselves from mosquito bites.  Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr John Carnie, said the deadly disease had been detected in “sentinel” chickens at Cobram, Rutherglen, Toolamba and Bendigo.  “These latest detections follow positive results in chickens in similar areas a month ago, including Barmah and Kerang,” Dr Carnie said. “Evidence of the virus is again present in these areas.”  The disease, carried by birds and passed to humans by mosquitoes, kills one in five of those infected, while half of survivors suffer brain damage.  While there had still been no confirmed cases of the virus in humans, a northwest Victorian man died of a suspected case of Murray Valley encephalitis this month. 


Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) is caused by the MVE virus. This virus is

The Murray River forms the boundary between Victoria and New South Wales.

named after the Murray-Darling River Basin in south-eastern Australia, where outbreaks of the disease have occurred. The most recent and largest outbreak in this area occurred in 1974.

The MVE virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The most important species of mosquito to carry the virus is the common banded mosquito, Culex annulirostris. This mosquito is widespread throughout Australia and breeds in surface pools of water. It prefers to bite at dusk and during the night and has a flight range of several kilometres.

Water birds such as herons are an important natural reservoir of MVE virus. These birds enable the virus to spread to new areas, where the mosquitoes that feed on infected birds can pass the virus on to humans.

MVE has an incubation period of 5-15 days from the bite of an infected mosquito to the onset of symptoms. While most infected people do not develop any symptoms at all, others may experience:

  • high fever
  • headache which is often severe
  • seizures or fits, especially in young children
  • neck stiffness
  • irritability
  • confusion
  • drowsiness.

Anyone with these symptoms should seek immediate medical advice. Coma and even death can occur in severe cases, and some of those who recover are left with ongoing problems such as deafness or epilepsy.

There is no specific treatment for MVE.

There is no vaccine against MVE. The only way to prevent MVE is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

For further information see http://access.health.qld.gov.au/hid/InfectionsandParasites/ViralInfections/murrayValleyEncephalitis_fs.asp

Scientists unlocking mysteries of Lyme Disease; Rabies reports from Alabama, South Carolina, and Vermont; and a Coyote report from Arizona. Canada: New study claims dogs running free place wildlife and human populations at risk in remote B.C. communities; and a Coyote report from Ontario. Zoonoses: Cryptosporidiosis.

The nymphal stage of the deer tick appears to be responsible for most cases of Lyme disease in the northeastern U.S. The adult, about the size of a sesame seed, prefers to feed on white-tailed deer. Photo by Forest Wander Nature Photography. Wikipedia Commons.


National 03/15/11 infectioncontroltoday.com:  Researchers recently developed novel diagnostic tools able to distinguish between the various strains of bacteria responsible for causing Lyme disease. For more than a decade, only one strain of B. burgdorferi (Lyme bacteria) had been sequenced (mapped), and although that helped research efforts, it was not sufficient to understand the relationship between geographic variations in strains and disease characteristics. Scientists have suspected different strains may infect different parts of the body, causing different symptoms.  The recent completion of the genome sequencing of 13 additional isolates will greatly contribute to the improved understanding of the origins and effects of Lyme disease. Described as a “superb discovery tool,” Journal of Bacteriology 2-2011, sequencing will also provide a more solid foundation for detection, diagnostic, and prevention strategies. The study was led by Dr. Steven Schutzer, Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett, and Dr. Sherwood Casjens.  The Lyme Disease Association (LDA) says it is encouraged that this latest accomplishment will provide a more in-depth understanding of Lyme disease, which in turn will lead to improved patient care. LDA funding often helps to start a project or complements federal funding such as that from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which was the case here. LDA continues on its mission, having raised over $5 million to date for Lyme-related research and education, with 100 percent of incoming funds slated for research going directly to projects such as this latest genome sequencing effort.

Alabama 03/16/11 al.com: by Ben Flanagan – Federal agricultural and state health officials are increasing surveillance after finding two raccoons positive for rabies in Autauga and Elmore counties.  The raccoons were in a typically rabies-free area, which is leading the USDA Wildlife Service and the Alabama Department of Public Health to conduct active surveillance for rabid creatures in the area.  The surveillance will concentrate on areas including Prattville, Marbury, Pine Level, Autaugaville, Posey Crossroads, Booth and Wadsworth, according to The Prattville Progress.  According to Dr. Dee W. Jones, Alabama State Public Health veterinarian, people should avoid any wild animal that is acting strangely. This includes a normally nocturnal animal such as a raccoon or fox seen during the day, which is unusually docile, or which approaches humans.  “This active surveillance should not be alarming to anyone,” Jones said in an Alabama Department of Public Health press release. “Rather it is just a reminder of the importance of vaccinating animals and pets.”  Every year the state health lab tests around 2,300 animal specimens resulting in approximately 80 positive cases, almost always in wildlife.

Arizona 03/15/11 kpho.com: by Cara Liu – Wildlife officers are investigating a possible coyote problem in North Phoenix.   A spokesperson for Arizona Game and Fish said officers are looking into several reports of coyotes “exhibiting bold behavior” in recent weeks. One of the reports is of a coyote charging at a boy.  Kim Smith said her 10-year-old Maltese mix, Muffin, was killed by a coyote Sunday afternoon. She had been hosting a housewarming party at new home near 12th Street and Greenway when she realized Muffin was missing.   “I was looking around there calling her name and that’s when I saw a coyote (just beyond my backyard),” said Smith. “He didn’t even run away from me and at that point, I knew. Something in my heart told me he’d gotten my dog.”   Muffin’s body was eventually found in a neighbor’s yard.

South Carolina 03/15/11 thetandd.com: by Dionne Gleaton – Citing confirmed cases of the rabies virus, Sidney Goff Jr., an environmental health manager at the Orangeburg County Health Department, said getting rabies vaccinations is very critical.  “Locally so far this year, the rabies virus has been confirmed in two different raccoon species. These cases have resulted in extended quarantines of pets. Having pets inoculated as required by law is protection for pets, pet owners and everyone else,” Goff said.  Current South Carolina law requires every cat, dog and ferret to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The owner of a domestic pet that has not been vaccinated may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined up to $500, or imprisoned up to 30 days.  The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reports that annually, approximately 400 South Carolinians undergo preventative treatment after being bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal.

Vermont 03/16/11 seattlepi.com: Bennington – A Vermont neighborhood is being stalked by a renegade gray squirrel.  Several people in Bennington say they’ve been attacked by a squirrel over the last few weeks.  Kevin McDonald tells the Bennington Banner he was shoveling snow when the squirrel jumped onto him. He says he threw the animal off, but it twice jumped back onto him. A game warden says there have been other reports, too.  One woman is being treated for exposure to rabies, but Vermont Public Health Veterinarian Robert Johnson says there’s never been a case of a squirrel passing rabies to a human.  Johnson says it’s possible the squirrel was raised as a pet and lost its fear of humans. He says the squirrel might “go ballistic” when it encounters people it doesn’t recognize.


British Columbia 03/14/11 canada.com: by Judith Lavoie – Victoria –

Canadian Grey Wolf.

Diseases, some of which can be lethal, are being passed between dogs, wolves and people in remote B.C communities where there is a dearth of veterinary care, a new study has found.  The report by researchers from Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the University of Calgary, which was published in the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, tested dogs in five remote communities in British Columbia — Hartley Bay, Klemtu, Ocean Falls, Bella Bella and Oweekeno.  The diseases could threaten wolf populations and pose a human health hazard, the study found.

Researchers found that dogs that are often allowed to run free and come into contact with wolves and bears have been sharing more than scent messages with their wild relatives, and diseases are being transmitted between populations.  “Uncontrolled disease in domestic animals is an issue of animal welfare,” said one of the study’s authors, Paul Paquet, Raincoast senior scientist.  “Some of the diseases we detected, notably parvovirus and distemper, can be lethal and have been linked with population declines in wildlife.”  Humans, and especially children, who come into close contact with dogs are also at risk, said lead author Heather Bryan,

Black bear.

Raincoast biologist and doctoral candidate at the University of Calgary.

Diseases identified that could infect people include leptospiral bacteria that can cause kidney or liver diseases, water-borne parasites giardia and cryptosporidium that cause diarrhea, toxocara canis, a roundworm that can cause tissue damage in the eyes, and the tapeworm echinococcus — found in dogs and wolves — that forms cysts in organs.  A canine respiratory virus that was only recently identified in North America was also found in some of the communities, Bryan said.

“It’s amazing how quickly diseases can be transmitted . . . A big part of it is making people aware of these risks and they really need regular veterinary services,” Bryan said. “Dogs need to be dewormed and vaccinated regularly to prevent these diseases.”  Scientists were helped in their research by the Big Heart Rescue Society, a group that goes to some of the remote communities every year and provides vaccinations and medical care.  “But they really need more support for that kind of program and for services like sterilization, which, at the moment, is fairly intermittent,” Bryan said.

In Oweekeno, several organizations got together to organize a sterilization clinic and, in some communities, Big Heart flies dogs to Vancouver for sterilization and then flies them back, but more is needed, Bryan said.  “Perhaps more awareness and recognition of the importance of the issue might help,” she said.  Judith Smits, University of Calgary scientist and an author of the report, said data from the study can be used to monitor future disease threats.  “Monitoring disease is important because rapid expansion of human activity in coastal B.C. could introduce new pathogens or change the dynamics of existing pathogens in ways that would affect dogs, people or vulnerable wildlife,” she said.

Ontario 03/16/11 wingham.com: by Pat Bolen – At the March 9 Huron County council meeting, Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek told the council the county coyote problem is continuing to grow and noted a full-grown cow had been killed by coyotes in Dungannon recently.   “They’re not going away,” said Van Diepenbeek.  Warden Neil Vincent said in response to a recently provincial environmental bill of rights, which is in a 45 day comment period until April 11, he met with animal control officer Bob Trick, who suggested one solution to the coyotes might be a dual bounty system for different times of the year. But Bluewater Mayor Bill Dowson replied he didn’t favour such a system as it would be tough to pick a date and wouldn’t be fair to farmers or hunters.  Dowson added that at the recent Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, he hadn’t been impressed with Ministry of Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey, who he said didn’t try to answer any questions and appeared not to have any strong feelings on any of the issues.


Cryptosporidiosis:  A diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites, Cryptosporidium, that can live in the intestine of humans and animals and is passed in the stool of an infected person or animal. Both the disease and the parasite are commonly known as “Crypto.” The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants. During the past 2 decades, Crypto has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (recreational water and drinking water) in humans in the United States. The parasite is found in every region of the United States and throughout the world. 

Cryptosporidium lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. An infected person or animal sheds Crypto parasites in the stool. Millions of Crypto germs can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. Shedding of Crypto in the stool begins when the symptoms begin and can last for weeks after the symptoms (e.g., diarrhea) stop. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite. Cryptosporidium may be found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. Crypto is not spread by contact with blood.

(For more information about crypto go to http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/gen_info/index.html )

Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, pave the way for new drugs to fight Trichinosis; Coyote reports from Florida, Indiana, and Rhode Island; Rabies reports from Ohio, and Virginia; and Travel Warnings for Indonesia (2), and Malaysia.

Walrus. Photo by Megapixie. Wikipedia Commons.

Missouri 02/21/11 redorbit.com: by Caroline Arbanas – Scientists have decoded the DNA of the parasitic worm that causes trichinosis, a disease linked to eating raw or undercooked pork or carnivorous wild game animals, such as bear and walrus.  After analyzing the genome, investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and their collaborators report they have identified unique features of the parasite, Trichinella spiralis, which provide potential targets for new drugs to fight the illness. The research

Dr. Makedonka Mitreva, lead author. Courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis.

was published online Feb. 20 in Nature Genetics.  While trichinosis is no longer a problem in the United States – fewer than a dozen cases are reported annually – an estimated 11 million people worldwide are infected. Current treatments are effective only if the disease is diagnosed early. “It takes less than two weeks for the larvae to travel from the intestine to muscle, where they live,” says lead author Makedonka Mitreva, PhD, research assistant professor of genetics at Washington University’s Genome Center. “Once the worms invade the muscle, drugs are less effective. While the disease is rarely deadly, patients often live for months or years with chronic muscle pain and fatigue until the worms eventually die.”(For complete article go to   http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1999790/scientist_decode

_dna_of_trichinosis_parasite/index.html )

Florida 02/18/11 abc-7.com: by Paul Gessler – People in Naples are asked to be on the lookout for a wild coyote!  A Lake Park community near 14th Avenue North received an email from its neighborhood association warning them a coyote has been sighted several times in the past couple months.  They are asked to keep a closer eye on their pets outside.  It didn’t take long Friday night to find people who have seen the animal.  “It was the right size and it looked not hungry, but thin from maybe having to scavenge for food,” said neighbor Greg Krumm.  Lake Park Elementary School is just a block away, although it is not believed to have been on school grounds.  People are asked to cover their trash and bring animals inside.

Indiana 02/20/11 wthr.com: by Richard Essex – Some people on the north side are concerned about the increasing threat of coyotes in their area, threatening people and their pets. The coyotes are aggressive, becoming more common and right into the backyards of suburban neighborhoods. “I had a guy come in here and bought a 17 HMR rifle just for that reason, because they got the wife’s dog twice, she lost two dogs to ’em. He has already killed 11 coyotes,” said Marshall Starkey at Second Amendment Guns. It is the scent of food that is bringing them closer. Too close for Angela Gutt, who came face-to-face with a coyote. “I ran out and they were coming and one came within five, five-ish feet of my pug and myself, they actually circled us, bared its teeth and growled at me,” she said. “They don’t eat chicken too much, they don’t like it too much, I don’t think. They usually go [after] cats, dogs, any small animal they can get ahold of. Rabbits, squirrels,” said Starkey.  As their habitat changes, so does their diet.  “They are slower. They are fed, so they are slower, so it is easier for a coyote to get fed,” Starkey said.  One of the reasons that coyotes have been so active this time of year is because it is mating season. On Friday night, they will be particularly active with a full moon. It is the night that brings the coyote out to hunt.  “At this point, it is either me, my family, my animals versus the coyotes,” Gutt said.  Their population is growing. Gutt is dealing with a small pack of coyotes most every night, at times fighting and howling into the early hours of the morning.  “But it has gotten to the point and I’m scared to walk out my back door,” she said.  According to DNR spokesman Phil Bloom, “Coyotes are wild animals regulated by the DNR, which has established hunting and trapping seasons for coyotes. The dates for both seasons are Oct. 15 to March 15. A license from the DNR is required for either activity – hunting or trapping.  “In addition, a landowner can kill coyotes on his/her own property year-round without a license, or he/she can give written permission to another person to do it.”

Ohio 02/19/11 examiner.com: by Leah Ritter, Dayton Cat Health Examiner – Here’s some bad news for ya: Raccoons attack cats.  I’ve seen it, or more accurately I’ve seen the results. Not pretty. The bad news is that they carry rabies (which can be transmitted to humans,) and canine distemper (which is transmissable to cats, too.) Read about that here.   You can’t really avoid the wildlife in Dayton, we are after all a densely populated area, so the best way to control the problem is to prevent it from becoming a problem. ( For complete article go to: http://www.examiner.com/cat-health-in-dayton/raccoons-and-cats-safety )

Rhode Island 02/20/11 patch.com: by Angela Lemire – “That was too close for comfort.” Scott Lyons, one of 300 Aquidneck Island residents who attended Wednesday’s Coyote Summit in Middletown, describing how one coyote boldly ran between him and his young daughter while they were out trick-or-treating this last Halloween.  “The coyotes are going to have to move out of my neighborhood or I am.” A Portsmouth resident who lives next door to Rhode Island Nurseries describing how her neighborhood has already seen one dog killed and three others attacked by coyotes.   “I don’t want us as a community to look back at this issue before it’s too late and say ‘would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.’” State Sen. Lou DiPalma, explaining why he helped organize the Aquidneck Island Coyote Summit and noting his chief concern that coyote attacks might escalate from pets to humans, especially children.

Virginia 02/20/11 timesdispatch.com: A dead raccoon found in the Glen Allen area of northern Henrico County has tested positive for rabies.  Authorities said a dog came in contact with the raccoon’s remains Wednesday afternoon in the 5900 block of Rigney Place, just southwest of Interstate 295’s Staples Mill Road interchange.  The remains were sent to the state lab for testing, and the results Thursday confirmed the presence of rabies in the raccoon.  The dog that was exposed was current on its rabies vaccinations and will be quarantined at its owner’s home for 45 days.

Travel Warnings:

Indonesia 02/21/11 speroforum.com: Bantul regency in Indonesia’s central Java region has declared a state of emergency and health agencies nationwide are on alert following an outbreak of leptospirosis, a fatal animal-borne disease that can result in high fever, internal bleeding and organ failure, said the Health Ministry.   Four of 15 people reported to have been infected with the bacterial disease have died since the onset of the outbreak in late January, a case fatality rate of 27 percent.  Indonesia’s Director-General of Disease Control and Environmental Health at the Health Ministry, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said infected rats may have caused the epidemic. ( For complete article go to http://www.speroforum.com/a/48901/Indonesia—Leptospirosis-outbreak-prompts-emergency-action?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+speroforum%2Fnroq+%28Spero+News%29 )

Indonesia 02/21/11 adelaidenow.com.au: The death toll from rabies in Bali


continues to rise.  And authorities in Indonesia say there are no areas that are free from the disease.  At least five people have died in Bali from rabies so far this year, taking the official total to 119 since an outbreak was declared two years ago.  The Australian Government warns that people visiting Bali and other areas of Indonesia are strongly advised to avoid direct contact with dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals that carry the disease.  It also warns that rabies treatment in Indonesia may be limited, which means bite victims may have to return to Australia or travel to a third country for treatment.  Bali’s chief health officer said the disease had spread to every district on the main island, as well as other islands under its jurisdiction.  Bali has also been battling an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. At least 10 Australians had been treated for the potentially fatal flu-like disease since December after returning from Bali

Malaysia 02/20/11 typepad.com: The authorities are taking immediate steps to stop an outbreak of dengue fever in Bukit Sentosa.  Hulu Selangor district officer Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan, who chairs the dengue outbreak monitoring committee, said there were three dengue cases reported at the four-storey Anggerik Apartments in Bukit Sentosa in five days.  “This is very serious. When there are three cases of dengue reported, the Health Ministry declares it as an outbreak,’’ he said during a visit to the area.

Rabies reports from Arizona (2), and Florida; and Coyote reports from Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Javelina. Photo by Jeff Dean. Wikipedia Commons.

Arizona 02/20/11 kpho.com: by Eric Zotcavage – Officials in Yavapai county confirmed that a javelina that attacked a dog Monday has tested positive for rabies.  Yavapai county sheriff spokesman Dwight D’Evlyn said animal control officers were called to a home in Walnut Grove to investigate a report of a javelina attack involving a domestic dog.  D’Evlyn said the family hound dog had been tethered outside the home when a javelina approached the home. The javelina engaged the dog and was able to bite the dog’s hindquarters. The dog’s owner was able to kill the javelina.  On Thursday, lab reports confirmed the javelina was rabid, D’Evlyn said. Unfortunately the dog did not have a current rabies vaccination, and was euthanized.  D’Evlyn said Although the dog’s owner was deemed to have minimal exposure and was not bitten, post exposure vaccinations were recommended. The owner is currently receiving those treatments.  Animal Control officers suggest removing any outside food source from unfenced areas of your property. This includes homes with pets located in densely populated neighborhoods. Also, make sure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.  Arizona Game and Fish spokesman Doug Burt said cases of rabid javelinas are rare in Arizona.  Burt said there is information on the Arizona Game and Fish website about contact with javelinas: Rabid Javelina Attack Confirmed In Yavapai County

Arizona 02/17/11 avma.org: by Greg Cima – JAVMA NEWS – A batassociated rabies virus variant that spread among northern Arizona’s terrestrial wildlife in previous years was not found in those animals in 2010.  And the overall number of rabies cases in the state dropped by nearly two-thirds from 2009 to 2010.  Decreases in carnivore populations and an increased use of vaccination programs are possible contributors to the decline in rabies cases after record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases in 2008 and 2009, with 176 and 280 cases, respectively.

Craig Levy, an epidemiologist and the manager of the vector borne disease program for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said rabies and canine distemper drove down carnivore populations, and only 102 animals tested positive for rabies infection in 2010. While the adapted virus variant wasn’t found in any of Arizona’s terrestrial animals that year, he said it could re-emerge as animal populations rise. Effects of the bat-associated variant are the same as for other variants.

A 2006 report in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases described the discovery in 2001 of a cluster of 19 rabid skunks infected with a bat-associated rabies virus variant, the largest recorded cluster of infection with the bat-associated variant among terrestrial mammals. The virus was isolated from the salivary glands of five affected skunks, and it was found again in 2004.   The report indicates the virus adapted from bats to terrestrial carnivores. Health authorities also found in 2008 that the virus was transmitted among foxes.

David Bergman, Arizona’s director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services under the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the USDA started an oral rabies vaccination program in late July 2009 in a 4,100-sq-km area including Flagstaff. About 125,000 vaccine-filled packets were dropped from the air, and about 4,300 were distributed on the ground. Because those oral vaccines do not work on skunks, 110 of them were captured and vaccinated, as were four raccoons.

The USDA had a similar campaign in June 2010 and plans to again in summer 2011.  No rabies-infected terrestrial animals had been found in the area where vaccines were distributed since the 2009 vaccination program began, Bergman said. And results of tests performed on blood samples drawn from captured gray foxes indicate about 64 percent of those foxes had ingested vaccine through the bait packets.  Bergman said greater-than-average snowfall in late 2009 and early 2010 also potentially lowered the population density of Arizona’s carnivores and the number of rabies cases.

Dr. Charles E. Rupprecht, chief of the CDC’s rabies program, said the bat-associated rabies virus variant is still present in foxes and skunks in northern Arizona. Oregon state officials are also monitoring rabies infections, and CDC officials are analyzing samples from infected animals in southwestern Oregon, where a bat-associated rabies virus variant may have spread among foxes.

Connecticut  02/17/11 fairfieldcitizenonline.com: by Kirk Lang – (Excerpts) – “People who see coyotes on their property should keep a safe distance, both because the animals could be rabid and because they can be unpredictable, according to Westport Animal Control Officer Peter D’Amico. He urged people to report any sighting to their town’s animal control department.  In Fairfield, Cathy Curley spotted two German Shepherd-size coyotes in her Lakewood Drive yard one morning recently, just before her sons headed off to school.  Seeing coyotes isn’t a new experience for Curley, but one thing grabbed her attention. “These were the biggest we’ve ever seen,” she said.  “They looked like wolves. Their eyes are just very intense. Their faces and the size of these guys, they have a wolf look,” she said.  Although coyotes can look scary, Fairfield Assistant Animal Control Officer Vinny Pennatto said the animals actually are more afraid of humans than humans are of them.“ “Reached by phone just before 9:30 a.m. one recent day, Pennatto said he already had received three reports of coyote sightings that morning. There are no particular areas of Fairfield where the animals seem more prevalent, he said. Sightings have been reported all over town, including downtown.”  For complete article go to http://www.fairfieldcitizenonline.com/news/article/Hungry-coyotes-on-the-prowl-this-winter-1018566.php

Florida 02/18/11 wpbf.com: A raccoon that bit a man in Delray Beach has tested positive for rabies.  Palm Beach County Health Department spokesman Tim O’Connor said a man was walking to his truck Tuesday when the raccoon scurried from under the truck and bit him on the leg. The man used a crowbar to fend off the raccoon until Animal Care and Control removed the animal.  O’Connor said a state laboratory in Lantana concluded Friday that the raccoon was rabid.  The victim was advised to undergo a series of rabies shots administered by the Palm Beach County Health Department.

Massachusetts 02/20/11 thedailyitemoflynn.com: by Karen Chretien – Nahant – If you start seeing neighbors banging pots and pans and blowing whistles on a regular basis, they’re not celebrating New Year’s a month too late; they’re simply trying to scare away coyotes.

At a public meeting Wednesday night regarding the coyote population in Nahant, Laura Hajduk of the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife gave residents advice on how to deal with the animals.  “You need to make sure you’re not rewarding these animals in any way,” said Hajduk. “You need to scare them whenever possible.”  Hajduk along with the Massachusetts Environmental Police provided residents with a presentation on dealing with coyotes after months of strong complaints from residents about the coyote population in Nahant.

However, Nahant Police Chief Robert Dwyer said the situation isn’t as bad as it seems.  “We believe there are only two coyotes on the island,” said Dwyer. “This is a small area of land and the animals move fast, so it is easy to believe that there are more coyotes than there actually are.”  Hajduk advised residents to keep their trash in contained bins instead of loose bags.  “Make sure your trash is not in any way accessible,” she said. “By containing your trash, the coyotes will have no incentive for returning to that area.”  She said coyotes have the ability to remember which day is trash day is and which yards have accessible trash or food sources.  “Coyotes are creatures of habit and if they are constantly being rewarded by finding food in certain places, they will continue to go back there,” she said.

Hajduk said a common question from residents regards why the coyotes can’t just be removed from the town, but she said that the coyotes that are currently on the island are actually protecting the territory from more coyotes from entering.  “If you remove the coyotes, it opens it up for other ones to come in and take over the territory,” said Hajduk. “More coyotes will not enter the town if they know that there are already coyotes living there. They know that the struggle for food sources will be too hard. You have to learn to co-exist with these animals.”

Hajduk said coyotes are prevalent in every town and city in Massachusetts and there have only been three confirmed attacks on people in the past few years.  “Attacks on humans are extremely rare,” she said. “They will fear you until they become habituated.”   In order to avoid coyotes from becoming habituated, Hajduk told residents to harass the animals at every chance possible.  “Coyotes will fear humans if you consistently scare them,” she said.  Hajduk recommended making loud noises such as yelling or banging pots and pans, blowing whistles or sirens, and even said to throw snow balls or tennis balls at the animals. She said to vary the techniques whenever possible.

“You need to make the coyotes feel threatened,” she said. “Do things to them that they wouldn’t experience in their everyday life and switch up the techniques.”  She also talked about ways for children to deal with an encounter.  “Kids should make themselves look bigger,” said Hajduk. “Tell kids to open up their jackets flap their arms and wave their arms above their heads.”

Dwyer said residents should contact the Nahant Police Department if they ever feel threatened by the animals.  Nahant Selectman Richard Lombard said when the warmer weather arrives, police officers will be regularly patrolling the Nahant Heritage Trail on four wheelers.  “We spend a lot of money on those trails and want to make sure people can continue to utilize them without feeling threatened,” he said.

Unusual wildlife reports from Florida, Idaho, and North Dakota; Rabies reports from Georgia, and North Carolina; Coyote reports from Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia; a Chronic Wasting Disease report from Wisconsin; and Travel Warnings for Paraguay, Peru, and Sri Lanka.

Photo by Gary J. Wood. Wikipedia Commons.


Florida 02/06/11 wtsp.com: by Stefanie Fogel – Daytona Beach — Dozens of sick raccoons have been rounded up in Volusia County since Jan. 1.  Volusia County Animal Control supervisor JoAnn Owen says the agency might just get one or two calls a week about a sick raccoon during a normal month. Since Jan. 1, 39 raccoons have been picked up.  Officials say most of the animals have distemper, a viral disease that is not a threat to humans. A spokeswoman for the Volusia County Health Department says there have been no recent cases or active investigations of suspected rabies, which can be fatal in people.

Georgia 02/06/11 accessnorthga.com: by Jeremy Taylor – Gainesville – Hall

African pygmy goat. Photo by Ltshears. Wikipedia Commons.

County Animal Services received confirmation that a goat located in the northern part of the county tested positive for rabies. Officials say a goat from the Baker Circle area of north Hall was recently shipped to the University of Georgia to be tested for rabies.   On Friday, Hall County Animal Services was advised that the goat was positive for rabies. Positive alert signs will be posted in the area where the rabid goat was located. If you live in this area or you see an animal acting abnormally, call Animal Services; or during non-working hours, call Hall County Dispatch.

Idaho 02/06/11 93rockon.com: by Laura Zuckerman – Salmon – Man’s best friend may be a formidable enemy to wildlife, a Utah State University biologist says in a newly published paper that tracks the harmful effects of loose dogs on other animals.  Based on a mix of existing research and their own case studies, Julie Young of Utah State and four other scientists conclude that feral and free-roaming dogs may be wreaking havoc on wildlife, especially imperiled species, by preying on or harassing them and by transmitting diseases.  While widely accepted that the introduction of non-native species can be harmful to natural ecosystems, dogs are not usually viewed in that light.  “Dogs occur where humans occur, but we have tended to overlook their impact on wildlife mostly because we think of them as our companions,” said Young, co-author of “Is Wildlife Going to the Dogs?” newly published in the journal BioScience.  Young cited examples from Idaho, where research showed the presence of dogs diminishing some deer populations, and in Colorado, where a study showed that wildlife like bobcats are shunning trails where people hike with pet dogs.  On the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona, packs of feral dogs are chasing livestock, decimating populations of small mammals such as rabbits and acting as a disease vector for rabies among people and other animals, she said.  Loose dogs also were the suspected culprits in a distemper outbreak linked to a catastrophic die-off of endangered black-footed ferrets in northwestern Wyoming in the 1980s.

Mississippi 02/05/11 picayuneitem.com: by Jeremy Pittari – Picayune – A black coyote was caught recently by a local couple who have been having trouble with something raiding their chickens and turkeys.  Eric and Rachel Berry began setting traps around their home a year ago when some of their chickens and turkeys were found eaten and strewn across their property by the perpetrators. Their chief suspects were various predatory animals that roamed the area, and in the past year, Rachel Berry said they have caught a number of coyotes and one bobcat. On Thursday, the couple caught their first black coyote.  Eric Berry said in the past six months his traps have captured 10 coyotes around his  home. He attributes the rise in coyote activity near his home to his recent purchase of turkeys and their laying eggs.  Prior to capturing the wild animals around his home Eric Berry said he used to shoot them, but recently he discovered if he captures them, he can sell them to a nearby fox run business that uses them in runs where dogs track and chase the animals.  Most of the coyotes Eric Berry catches are brown or gray. Black coyotes are unique, he said.  After conducting some research on the Internet on how to trap wild animals, Eric Berry bought some small metal traps that when tripped capture the animal by the foot. The traps are similar to a classic bear trap, but lack teeth on the jaws. However, coyotes can smell metal so Eric said he dips the traps in wax before hiding them under grass and dirt and baiting them.  Coyotes and bobcats are not the only wild animals that frequent the Berry’s land. Rachel Berry said at times, deer and wild pigs can be seen passing through.

New Hampshire 02/05/11 theunionleader.com: by Kimberly Houghton – Merrimack – There have been several coyote sightings in town in the past month, with at least one resident having a face-to-face encounter with the elusive animal earlier this week.  “People have been seeing a coyote around, especially in the Merrimack Meadows area,” said Capt. Peter Albert of the Merrimack police.  He said police have received at least four reports of a coyote spotted around Chapel Lane, Hilton Drive and Depot Street, near the Daniel Webster Highway.  This week, a woman was shoveling snow in the parking lot at Merrimack Meadows condominium complex when she saw a coyote several feet away from her, Albert said. The animal chased the woman up to her door, but she was able to safely escape inside, he said.  “It wasn’t right on her heels, but she did get nervous and it did actually run after her,” Albert said of the coyote.  The coyote has been seen rummaging for food in trash barrels and dumpsters, police said. Authorities have issued a warning to local neighborhood watch groups to be on the lookout for the animal, but to not approach the coyote.  “They are a wild dog, and people should be cautious,” Albert said, asking parents to educate their children about the dangers of coyote, especially if the children are playing in the snow in the evening.  The town’s animal control officer, Elizabeth Fraser, has unsuccessfully tried to find the coyote several times after receiving reports of the animal sightings. For now, police said there is not much they can do about the situation.  “If it becomes a nuisance or gets aggressive, we will have to put it down,” Albert said, reminding residents not to feed the animal.  In addition, police said coyotes are attracted to bird food and bread crumbs left on snow for birds. He encourages people to put bird food in feeders, not leave it on the ground where a coyote could get at it.  Jesse Fraser of Critter Control in Merrimack said he hears a lot of tall tales about coyote and fox attacks in New Hampshire, but stressed that animals are typically afraid of humans — even coyotes.  “Coyotes are scavengers,” he said, explaining that the heavy snow may be preventing the intelligent animals from finding their typical feed, which includes mice, moles, insects and squirrels.  Coyotes are more elusive than fox, according to Fraser, who said that this time of year the animals aren’t likely to be infected with rabies. Still, he warned that coyotes will attack house cats if they are hungry and within range.  The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department recommends that pets and pet food remain inside at night to reduce the likelihood that a family cat will become a coyote’s prey, according to its website.  “As for your safety, coyote pose little risk to people. In New Hampshire, there has never been a report of a coyote attacking a person,” states the website.  Local police are urging residents to call authorities at 424-3774 if they spot the animal.

North Carolina 02/04/11 digtriad.com: by Cami Marshall – The State Laboratory of Public Health notified Randolph County Health Officials that a kitten sent for testing was positive for rabies.  They found the kitten on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 in the Uwharrie Street area of Asheboro, near the intersection of Albemarle Road. The kitten, a gray tabby approximately six months old, couldn’t walk when it was discovered. A good samaritan took the kitten to a local veterinary hospital for examination. After ruling out other causes of injury, the veterinarian began to suspect rabies. Lab testing confirmed that suspicion.  Animal control officers are spreading the word in the area by distributing flyers to surrounding homes. They want to alert residents who may have come into contact with the kitten or whose pets may have come in contact with the kitten to get tested or watch their pets for strange behavior.   If you think you, or your pet, may have come into contact with the kitten, or if you have questions regarding rabies, contact the Randolph County Health Department at: (336) 318-6200.

North Dakota 02/06/11 ky3.com: A raccoon has ended a North Dakota team’s bid for a fourth consecutive regional championship in high school wrestling.  The Carrington High School team was pulled from Saturday’s tournament when officials discovered the athletes had been exposed to a live raccoon.  Grafton Police Sgt. Anthony Dumas says the team picked up what members thought was a dead raccoon on the way to the tournament in Grafton and stowed in the storage area of their bus. Dumas says when the compartment was opened later, the raccoon “just trotted away.”  The animal didn’t scratch or bite anyone, but it’s not known whether it had rabies.  The Grand Forks Herald reports school officials brought the team home as a precaution. Health officials say there’s no risk to athletes who competed against Carrington.

Ohio 01/15/11 coshoctontribune.com: by Kathie Dickerson – Coshocton — One of Florence Dobson’s best friends was killed Jan. 10.  Her quarterhorse, Wonder’s Image, or Babe, as her owner fondly called her, was chased off the Dobson farm sometime early Monday morning. The family searched for her throughout the day, and about 3 p.m. found her lying on the neighbor’s ice-covered pond, dead.  Dobson said a pack of coyotes have been spotted in their Virginia Township neighborhood for the past couple of years.  “You could see her tracks and their tracks. They chased her down off our property, down over a hill. She never went down over that hill,” Dobson said. “When she got on that ice, she was done. They attacked her and ripped her right hind leg. There was blood everywhere.”  Despite being trapped and hunted for more than 200 years, more coyotes live in the U.S. today than when the country was founded, according to Wildlife Services, a division of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  A 2004 National Agricultural Statistical Service survey showed 135,600 sheep and lambs, valued at $10.7 million, were killed nationwide that year. In Ohio, the damage was estimated at $164,000 for sheep in 2004 and $1 million for cattle in 2005.

Virginia 02/04/11 wtkr.com: A Gloucester farmer has lost more than half his cattle after he says they were attacked by coyotes.  Now people are stepping forward to take action for the farmer.  Kevin Ryand has hunted coyotes throughout the Commonwealth, and he doesn’t want them killing any more cows.  “There’s more coyotes than you realize,” he says.  So when he saw NewsChannel 3’s story on Wednesday, he called us looking to take action, offering to help cattle farmer Gordon Llewellyn.  Ryand’s not the only one. A Navy firearms instructor offered to help as well, looking to use his night vision equipment to take down the nuisance.  Gloucester County Animal Control has received countless calls from people wanting to protect his cattle and kick the coyotes out.  However, Assistant County Administrator Georgette Hurley says, “We’re appreciative of everyone’s interest, but we’re not actively looking for or seeking this.”  Experts say the cows are falling victim now since it’s winter and there is less for coyotes to eat.  Hurley says, “We’ve known for years that coyotes have been in the area but because of food sources being available with wildlife we’ve just not experienced any kills of livestock or poultry.”  Animal control says they aren’t sure exactly how many of them are lurking in the woods, threatening to take down area livestock. It’s simply too tough to count them.  “They’re very elusive and skittish,” Hurley says.  People like Ryand can hunt coyotes year-round, night or day, without a permit. But while the county has a coyote problem, it says it can handle it on its own.  The county says anyone interested in hunting the coyotes should contact Mr. Llewellyn directly, but they do not need people taking it upon themselves to go out in search of coyotes and kill them.

Wisconsin 02/04/11 93rockon.com: New research indicates that the prions which cause chronic wasting disease in deer could someday create a new type of human brain disease.  Doctors from 4 universities published the report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. But they cautioned that a human link could take decades to establish, and it may never happen.  Chronic wasting disease has been found in Wisconsin’s deer population for almost a decade. It’s spread through infectious brain proteins in the soil called prions.  Judd Aiken of the University of Alberta says prions will keep building up in the soil the longer CWD stays around in the Badger State. And if that happens, Claudio Soto of the University of Texas at Houston says the prions could eventually convert to a form that affects cattle or people.  Soto emphasizes that the jury’s still out on whether chronic wasting disease can affect humans. He says a new study is underway in which prions are injected into genetically-engineered mice – and those mice are likely to produce possible human reactions.  If mice get the disease, Soto says it’s more likely that humans could get it someday as well. Those test results could be known in a year or two.

Travel Warnings:

Paraguay 02/04/11 plenglish.com: After the death of another patient with dengue, Ciudad del Este, which is the second largest city in Paraguay, a health emergency was declared Friday.  The chairman of the Regional Hospital of the Institute of Social Welfare, Carlos Pallarol, said this is the fourth death due to the disease in the area of Alto Parana over the last month.  A statement from the mayor’s office in Ciudad del Este, on the border with Brazil, said the number of patients diagnosed with certainty amounts to 123, while 106 others have symptoms by epidemiological link and 50 are suspects. In 2011, Paraguay already has 5 deaths because of this viral disease which is transmitted by the Aedes agypti mosquito.Public Health Minister Esperanza Martinez said at a news conference that the fight against the epidemic is a government priority and called for strengthening supervision, as rain increases outbreaks of the vector.

Peru 02/04/11 globalvoicesonline.org: by Isabel Guerra translated by Damien Moroney – A dengue outbreak that emerged in the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto has easily spread through several neighboring regions. On the 1st of February, four confirmed cases had been officially reported in Lima, the Peruvian capital, causing great alarm because according to medical reports, this is a new strain in the region, which with its great virulence has already caused havoc in neighboring countries like Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.  In Iquitos, capital of the Loreto region, official figures report thus far more than 6,000 suspected cases of this disease which is transmitted by the bite of the mosquito Aedes Aegypti, and 11 deaths in the month of January alone. It is expected that these figures could increase in February. Meanwhile, the city’s hospitals have declared they are swamped and some groups are already asking that a health emergency be declared, a measure that has not been adopted by the regional authorities yet, claiming a lack of technical and legal reports.

Sri Lanka 02/05/11 typepad.com: As the country continues to be battered by inclement weather, dengue cases and resulting deaths are soaring to epidemic proportions already. Health sources are warning that this year’s epidemic may be more severe than the previous epidemic in 2009/10, when the total number of cases stood at 34,105 with 246 deaths by end December 2010.   From 790 cumulative cases recorded up to February 2, 2011, the numbers jumped by 41 in one day to reach 831 on February 3, according to data from the Epidemiology Unit.   Equally frightening is the number of deaths which now stands at 11 so far this year from just eight deaths last month. The number of deaths for the entire month of February 2010 was 14.

Foxes and coyotes a growing problem in Connecticut, and some coyotes lose fear of people in Texas.

Coyote. Photo by Sally King. Courtesy National Park Service.

Connecticut 01/02/11 examiner.com: by Theodora DeBarbieri, Waterbury Animal Welfare Examiner – Take a ride along I-84 or Route 8 and they are there:  the fox or coyote that was no match for oncoming traffic. These are the ones that you will see, but there are more living mostly in secret somewhere in your neighborhood. Waterbury is geographically diverse and offers many settings – woods, parks, golf courses and abandoned buildings – for these animals to call home.

It is easy to wonder when there is a surge in the lost and found section of the Sunday paper for lost cats or posters for missing pets around your neighborhood if it is a coincidence or if there is something more to it. Often a new, hungry resident is to blame. There is no need for panic – common sense and caution should be enough, but the danger to your pet is real.

Red fox. Courtesy National Park Service.

Foxes and coyotes are fighting to survive and they have every advantage over a domestic animal. In addition to the risk of serving as a meal, there are diseases that can be transmitted to your pet such as rabies, distemper and mange. It is up to you to keep your beloved companion safe at all times. Cats should be kept indoors. Dogs should not be allowed to roam nor should they be left outside without you there keeping a very watchful eye on them. Cats, kittens and smaller dogs are a perfect meal for a hungry predator. Rarely, a larger dog will succumb to a pair of coyotes.

These animals are opportunists and will eat what they can find. If you have a birdfeeder, clean up scattered seed. Maintain your trash so there are no tasty tidbits readily available. If there is pet food in your yard, clean that up, too. Dusk and dawn are the most active times for hunting, so keep your yard well lit. Don’t let your immediate environment seem inviting and you can cut the likelihood of an encounter.

If you see a fox or coyote keep in mind that while they seldom pose a threat to humans you should never encourage or feed them. Although beautiful, they are wild and unpredictable animals. Generally, making loud noises will scare them away.  If the animal seems sick, call your local animal control office.  There is never a substitute for safety and your pet’s life may depend on it.

For more information, the State of Connecticut offers fact sheets on both foxes and coyotes.

Texas 01/09/11 star-telegram.com: by John Henry – Reports last week of coyote attacks in north Fort Worth neighborhoods are not signs of an epidemic or even a trend, officials said.  Rather, they appear to be instances in which one or a few of the animals have lost fear of people.  And those could pose risks to the public.

“It seems there are one or two [in this area of Fort Worth] that have lost their fear of humans,” said Jessica Alderson of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She added that her office at Cedar Hill State Park hasn’t received any more reports of sightings than what is typical for this time of year.  “Their natural reaction is to fear people, but somewhere along the line their behavior has been positively reinforced.”  Most often that happens when the animals are fed either directly or indirectly.

The biggest problem is unintended feeding — dog food and trash placed outside or overfilled bird feeders that attract rodents, which attract coyotes.  One way or another, that’s exactly what Alderson and Brandon Bennett, Fort Worth’s code compliance director, theorize happened in this instance.

A consensus has formed a golden rule for wildlife: Never feed or expose them to human food.  Habits are formed, and natural inhibitions wear away.  “The reality of it is, the chances of a person being bitten by a coyote are very small if they’re not doing something they shouldn’t be,” Alderson said.

Most of the recent trouble in Fort Worth has been near Interstate 35W and U.S. 287, Bennett said. In a notable episode last week, a woman walking her poodles was confronted by a coyote, which took and killed one of the dogs.  Police tracked a coyote to its den and shot it dead when it, too, became aggressive. It’s not known, however, whether it was the same coyote that killed the dog, Bennett said.  A coyote thought to be involved in another incident was tranquilized and captured. It tested negative for rabies, and Bennett said officials have no reason to believe that the one shot by police would test positive.

In Texas, a little more than a handful of rabid coyotes have been confirmed since 2007, none in 2010. The last coyote found to have rabies in North Texas was in 2006.  Coyotes usually don’t hang out in packs, Alderson said, but rather in twos and threes. Loners are not uncommon.  Increased sightings this time of year are normal, Alderson said, generally because coyotes’ prey, such as rabbits, birds, snakes, lizards and insects, are more scarce.  Trapping and relocating is never an option, Alderson said. Coyotes that become aggressive should be euthanized, she said.  Sightings are expected to decrease this week as cold weather sets in.  Happenstance run-ins between coyote and human are only likely to increase as development grows in newly annexed properties in Parker and Wise counties. “This is a symptom of a broader issue of development,” said Tom Harvey of Parks and Wildlife. “It’s the people invading coyote territory.”