Tag Archives: Opossum

OPOSSUMS eat TICKS and FOXES eat RODENTS so both help control LYME DISEASE ~ 55 cases of CHIKUNGUNYA imported to U.S. so far this year ~ Is CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE a threat to HUMANS? ~ U.S. healthcare worker with EBOLA in Sierra Leone to be treated at NIH Bethesda, MARYLAND ~ RABIES reports from SC & Canada-ON.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Global 03/14/15 poughkeepsiejournal.com: by John Ferro – They come out at night. They have scary teeth. They have a weird name with an extra vowel most people don’t pronounce. And they are where Lyme disease goes to die. Say hello to the opossum, the American marsupial with a pointy nose and prehensile tail that dines on ticks like a vacuum dines on dust. (Most people drop the first vowel when speaking of ‘possums, but possums actually belong to a different species native to Australia.) . . . (T)iny adolescent ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria are most active during the late spring months, typically May and even as early as April during warmer years. But whereas these ticks can be found in large numbers on mice, shrews and chipmunks, they are eaten in large numbers by opossum. Research led by scientists based at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook placed different species into cages, covered them with ticks and waited for the biting arachnids to jump off. The scientists then counted how many survived. Opossums can eat or remove as much as 96 percent of the ticks that land on them.

Virginia opossum

Virginia opossum

Cary scientists are continuing to examine the correlation between the frequency of different types of mammals, and the infection rates of ticks found in the same area. The initial thought? Where foxes thrive, Lyme doesn’t. That’s because foxes are good hunters of the small mammals that serve as the most effective reservoirs of the Lyme pathogen. – For complete article see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/03/14/lyme-disease-opossum-ticks/70221442/ and for relative video about foxes see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/videos/news/health/lyme-disease/2014/10/27/18000483/

CHIKUNGUNYA:

States reporting imported ChikV.

States reporting imported ChikV.

National 03/12/15 outbreaknestoday.com: by Robert Herriman – In an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week, there has been a total of 55 chikungunya virus disease cases that have been reported to ArboNET from 14 U.S. states, as of Mar. 10. Of the 55 travel associated cases seen this year, 60 percent of cases are from three statesFlorida, New York and Maryland. No locally-transmitted cases have been reported from U.S. states. Chikungunya became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States in 2015. Last year, there were 2,481 travel associated cases reported from all states except, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska. Eleven locally-transmitted cases were reported from Florida. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/us-reports-55-imported-chikungunya-in-2015-to-date-89590/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

thumbnailCA84UOUZGlobal 03/11/15 virology.ws: Dr. Vincent Racaniello, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columba University, and author of the Virology Blog, has posted a blog about Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease of deer, elk and moose. Hunters and others who have an interest in the topic will want to read it. – See http://www.virology.ws/

EBOLA VIRUS:

ebola-virus32Maryland 03/12/15 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – An American healthcare worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus is expected to arrive tomorrow from Sierra Leone at an infectious-disease containment unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, the federal agency announced today. The American had been volunteering in an Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone, one of three nations bearing the brunt of the disease’s outbreak in West Africa since it began in December 2013. A chartered aircraft will transport the individual while in isolation to the Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU) at the NIH Clinical Center. The NIH did not release any further details about the identity of the American. The SCSU is one of a handful of high-level containment units in the country designed to treat patients with a virulent infectious disease such as Ebola and prevent further disease transmission. The healthcare worker, due to arrive tomorrow at the SCSU, will be the second patient with Ebola treated there. – See http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/841408?src=wnl_edit_newsal&uac=218349HV

RABIES:

rabiesAlert521d4-1South Carolina 03/11/15 Abbeville County: A stray cat found in the City of Abbeville that came in contact with at least four people has tested positive for rabies. – For further information see http://www.wyff4.com/news/dhec-cat-exposes-south-carolinians-to-rabies/31743790

Canada:

help7689Ontario 03/12/15 Grey Bruce Health Services: Officials are looking for the owner of a cat that bit a man in Owen Sound on Saturday. Staff at the health unit need to confirm that the cat, found in the 1500 block of 3rd Ave. E. at approximately 12:30 p.m., has had a current rabies vaccination. The grey cat was hiding under a vehicle and when the man reached under the vehicle to remove it, he was bitten. The cat is believed to be an indoor cat. If it is determined the cat has been vaccinated, the man can avoid post-exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the health unit at 519-376-9420. – See http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2015/03/12/health-unit-seeking-cats-owner

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NEW YORK ecologist says OPOSSUMS are very efficient TICK killers ~ TEXAS reports first case of HANTAVIRUS in 2014 ~ RABIES reports from CA, PAx2, VAx2 & CANADA: ONTARIO.

Opossum. Photo by Cody Pope. Wikimedia Commons.

Opossum. Photo by Cody Pope. Wikimedia Commons.

National 04/22/14 newstimes.com: by Robert Miller – At night, when you catch sight of an opossum in your car headlights, you are allowed to think, “That is one ugly little animal.” But what opossums lack in looks, they make up in originality. They’re America’s only babies-in-the pouch marsupial. They’re a southern species — proper name Virginia opossum — that’s adapted to New England winters. They’re one of the oldest species of mammal around, having waddled past dinosaurs. They eat grubs and insects and even mice, working over the environment like little vacuum cleaners. “They really eat whatever they find,” said Laura Simon, wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Humane Society. And they’re an animal whose first line of defense includes drooling and a wicked hissing snarl — a bluff — followed by fainting dead away and “playing possum.” “They are just interesting critters,” said Mark Clavette, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. And now ecologists have learned something else about opossums. They’re a sort of magnet when it comes to riding the world of black-legged ticks, which spread Lyme disease.

Dr. Richard Ostfeld.

Dr. Richard Ostfeld.

“Don’t hit opossums if they’ve playing dead in the road,” said Richard Ostfeld, of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millerton, N.Y. Ostfeld is forest ecologist and an expert on the environmental elements of infectious diseases like Lyme disease. Several years ago, scientists decided to learn about the part different mammals play in the spread of the ticks and the disease. They tested six species — white-footed mice, chipmunks, squirrels, opossums and veerys and catbirds — by capturing and caging them, and then exposing each test subject to 100 ticks. What they found, is that of the six, the opossums were remarkably good at getting rid of the ticks — much more so

Blacklegged Tick.

Blacklegged Tick.

that any of the others. “I had no suspicion they’d be such efficient tick-killing animals,” Ostfeld said. Indeed, among other opossum traits, there is this: They groom themselves fastidiously, like cats. If they find a tick, they lick it off and swallow it. (The research team on the project went through droppings to find this out. All praise to those who study possum poop.) Extrapolating from their findings, Ostfeld said, the team estimated that in one season, an opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks. – For complete article see http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Robert-Miller-Opposums-killers-of-ticks-5413872.php

Hantavirus:

hantavirus1542Texas 04/13/14 Swisher County: Health officials have confirmed the state’s first case of hantavirus reported this year. The exposure is believed to have occurred in a rodent-infested barn when dust was stirred up. It was reported that the individual recovered. Hantavirus infection has a mortality rate of 38% according to the CDC. – See http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/texas-reports-first-hantavirus-case-of-2014-2014/

Rabies:

Author’s Note: Beginning with this post, Rabies Reports will be limited to those that are in some way unusual and/or of particular importance in terms of service to the general public.

Help_button_2California 04/19/14 Yolo County: Animal services officials seek the public’s help in finding a dog that bit a child in a park in Dunnigan. The incident occurred about 7:30 p.m. April 11. A 3-year-old child was with his mother in a park near the 29000 block of Main Street when the youngster attempted to approach a small dog running loose in the park and was bitten, according to county news release. The mother told animal services officials that she had not seen the dog in the area before and has not seen it since the child was bitten. Animal services employees also have been unable to find the animal. The dog was described as a small gray and white terrier type. The mother did not recall seeing a collar on the dog. Identifying the dog to verify current rabies vaccination could help spare the child post-exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with knowledge of the incident, or the location of dog or its owner, is asked to call the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Section at (530) 668-5287, or email animal.bite@yolocounty.org. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/18/6336279/yolo-officials-seek-dog-that-bit.html

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsPennsylvania 04/22/14 Montgomery County: A stray cat found on East Fifth Avenue in Collegeville has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who has been bitten, scratched or had saliva exposure to a stray cat should seek medical advice and also call the Montgomery County Health Department at 610-278-5117. This is the third confirmed case of rabies in the county in 2014. – See http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140422/rabid-cat-found-in-collegeville

3610192083_22eaf9db7aPennsylvania 04/17/14 Lancaster County: A Penn Township woman is receiving post-exposure rabies treatments as a precaution after being bitten by a stray, black cat on April 16th in the 1000 block of White Oak Road in Manheim. The cat remains at large. – See http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/woman-undergoing-rabies-shots-after-being-bit-by-cat/article_ecc54d9e-c633-11e3-88e6-001a4bcf6878.html

400px-RK_0808_278_Marmota_monax_groundhog_ReinhardKraaschWCVirginia 04/15/14 Fairfax County: A groundhog that fought with a dog in the 900 block of Welham Green Road in Great Falls on April 6th has tested positive for rabies. The dog was quarantined. – See http://mclean.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/dog-quarantined-after-tangling-with-rabid-hedgehog-in-great-falls

Wildlife-GrayFoxVirginia 04/15/14 Newport News: A man in the city’s Lakeside neighborhood who was bitten by a fox on April 14th has begun post-exposure rabies treatments as a precaution. The fox bit into his arm and wouldn’t let go until he started slamming his pickup truck door on it. The fox was not captured and remains at large. – See http://www.wvec.com/news/Woman-bit-by-fox-in-Newport-News-255385821.html

Canada:

untitled (2)Ontario 04/15/14 Grey Bruce Health Unit: Officials are asking for your help in finding the owner of a dog involved in a biting incident in Walkerton. It happened last Friday morning, when a girl walking to school near the corner of Hinks Street and Johnstone Boulevard was bitten by a dog being walked by a man. The man kept on walking. The dog is described as medium-sized, mixed breed, with black and white markings. Staff of the Grey Bruce Health Unit need to confirm that the dog is not infected with rabies. By verifying the health of the dog, the victim can avoid receiving the post exposure rabies treatment. If you have any information related to this incident, you are asked to contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420. ­ – See http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=65460

 

WASHINGTON wildlife officers kill one WOLF and target another to protect LIVESTOCK ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: 9 more Waldorf, MARYLAND residents exposed to possibly RABID BATS ~ NEW YORK TV station proposes simple method to catch a BAT ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, ILx2, IA, NE, NH, & TN ~ RABIES reports from NJ, OR, PA, TX. & WI.

Gray wolf. Courtesy National Park Service.

Washington 08/07/12 seattletimes.com: by Lynda V. Mapes – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents killed one wolf and are preparing to kill another to protect a rancher’s livestock in northeastern Washington. The wolves are in the population protected by state, but not federal laws. Only wolves in the western two-thirds of the state are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The wolf killed Tuesday morning was part of a pack in the so called “Wedge,” a remote area of northeastern Washington home to wolverines, grizzly bears — and The Diamond M Ranch, where complaints by a rancher of one calf killed and others injured generated the department’s decision to kill the wolf and prepare to kill another by Wednesday afternoon.

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

The targeted animals are two of last year’s pups from a pack in the Wedge, not the alpha male and female of the pack. “We don’t want to break up the pack, and this year’s pups are not [predatory],” said Dave Ware, manager of the game division for the department. . . Washington was home to two known packs of wolves in 2010, and five packs last December, and now has eight confirmed packs — and maybe more, based on public reports and observed tracks. The rebound is typical of the pattern, Ware said, in which recovery begins slowly, then picks up speed. – For complete article see http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2018869322_wolves08m.html

Follow-Up Report:

(See Rabies: Maryland 08/01/12 “Two people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies” posted 08/03/12)

Maryland 08/08/12 Waldorf, Charles County: Eleven Huntington Apartments residents are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after contact with bats. Officials have evaluated 22 people from 12 units and those who have had direct contact with a bat or slept in a room where a bat was found have been referred for preventative treatment. – See http://www.somdnews.com/article/20120808/NEWS/708089679/1074/11-being-treated-for-rabid-bat-contact&template=southernMaryland

National 08/08/12 How to Catch a Bat: The best way to catch a bat is to close all the windows and doors in your home and turn off all the lights, except for one. The bat will be attracted to that light. When the bat lands, approach it slowly while wearing heavy work gloves and then place a can or a box over the bat and slide a piece of cardboard or plastic over the top. Keep the container in a cool location and contact your local health department so the bat can be tested for rabies. – Method proposed by WSYR-TV Syracuse. – For complete article and video see http://www.9wsyr.com/content/news/your_stories/story/How-to-catch-a-bat-Your-Stories/fafLV2CE30aIaCQxnLscjQ.cspx

Author’s Note: After you catch the bat, if you don’t know how it got in, call a local pest and wildlife control professional to find and seal points of entry.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 08/08/12 Sacramento & Yolo counties: Mosquito & Vector Control District WNV activity update: Sacramento – Level 3: 458 dead birds, 13 sentinel chickens, and 321 mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV to date. Yolo – Level 3: 39 dead birds, 2 sentinel chickens, and 48 mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV to date. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139085bbdbd66e8c

Illinois 08/06/12 Cook County: Four more human cases of WNV have been reported, including a 57-year-old Evanston resident, two in Chicago, and one in a suburban area. – See http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/evanston/chi-six-people-with-west-nile-in-cook-county-20120808,0,5705380.story

Illinois 08/08/12 DuPage County: The Health Department reports 89 mosquito pools have tested positive for WNV so far this season, compared to only one positive test during the same period last year. – See http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/health-department-west-nile-virus-is-widespread

Iowa 08/07/12 Johnson County: Two cases of WNV have been confirmed in two area horses on two separate farms in the county. Both horses had to be euthanized. . . Since these two cases of WNV were confirmed, two cases have been reported in northwest Iowa and one case in north central Iowa, according to Dustin Vandehoef of the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture. There has also been one confirmed human case of WNV in northwest Iowa. – See http://www.kalonanews.com/articles/2012/08/07/news/doc50217fee989c3239040939.txt

Nebraska 08/08/12 Hamilton County: Health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in central Nebraska. – See http://www.nebraska.tv/story/19228853/west-nile-virus-showing-up-in-central-nebraska

New Hampshire 08/07/12 dhhs.nh.gov: News Release – Public health officials have confirmed that 18 batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV recently from the towns of Manchester, Nashua, and Salem.  This is in addition to the 8 batches that Manchester already announced this season, bringing the total number of positive batches so far this year to 26. These findings have caused DPHS to raise the risk level for arboviral diseases in the greater Manchester, Nashua, and Salem areas. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139075b2b2520417

Tennessee 08/08/12 Knox County: The Knox County Health Department has received lab confirmation of the presence of WNV in mosquitoes in six different areas of the county. – See http://www.wbir.com/news/article/229570/2/West-Nile-Virus-showing-up-in-more-areas-of-Knox-County

Rabies:

New Jersey 08/08/12 Burlington County: A skunk that attacked an opossum on the 300 block of Van Sant Drive, off Temple Boulevard in Palmyra, has tested positive for rabies. This is the third animal confirmed to be rabid in the Cinnaminson/Palmyra area this week. – See http://cinnaminson.patch.com/articles/third-wild-animal-tested-positive-for-rabies

Oregon 08/08/12 Benton County: A bat pulled out of the Willamette River by a group of Boy Scouts last week has tested positive for rabies, Benton County health officials confirmed Wednesday. This is the second bat in Benton County, and the seventh in the state of Oregon, to test positive for rabies this year. On Friday, four Boy Scouts on a canoe trip on the Willamette River retrieved a live bat from the water. The boys, handling the animal with bare hands, then took the bat to a scout leader. The scout leader quickly had the bat placed into a “secure container,” according to a statement from the Benton County Health Department. The leader then alerted the health department. When the scouts got to Hyat Park, a Benton County sheriff’s deputy picked up the animal and took it to the health department. The troop had been canoeing from Eugene to Hyat Park. The bat was discovered at  a point in the river about 3 miles north of Corvallis. Since the scouts handled the bat with bare hands, the bat was sent to the Oregon Public Health Laboratory in Hillsboro to be tested for rabies. A positive result came back Wednesday. The Boy Scout troop is a Washington County troop. Washington County health officials will evaluate whether the boys who touched the bat should receive a rabies vaccine given after exposure, according to the Benton County Health Department statement.

Pennsylvania 08/08/12 Fulton County: A skunk that sprayed a man who was working in the southern part of the county last Wednesday has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.fultoncountynews.com/news/2012-08-09/Front_Page/Gas_Man_Sprayed_By_Rabid_Skunk.html

Texas 08/08/12 Parker County: A male deer found at the Sugar Tree Golf Course on August 2nd has tested positive for rabies. According to reports, the deer was friendly and allowed people to pet and hand feed him. The county sheriff is asking those who had any contact with the deer to seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.the33tv.com/news/kdaf-rabies-scare-deer-tests-positive-for-rabies-20120808,0,2238579.story

Wisconsin 08/08/12 Marathon County: Health officials are seeking assistance in locating a dog that bit a young man on the city’s west side. The incident occurred at about 7 p.m. Friday on Garfield Avenue. The dog has been described as a small, black, short-haired dog with a dark colored collar. Verifying the vaccination status of the dog could prevent the man from having to go through a series of rabies shots. Anyone with information about the dog or its owner should call the Marathon County Health Department at 715-261-1908 or the Marathon County Dispatch at 715-849-7785.

National Science Foundation awards grants to help digitize biological collections; Montana and Idaho wildlife officials propose Wolf hunt plans; West Nile Virus reports from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and South Dakota; and Rabies reports from Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania (2), Texas, and Virginia. Travel Warnings: Dengue Fever outbreak in Ecuador.

Global 07/08/11 nsf.gov: Press Release – Centuries of discovery document the diversity of life on Earth. Records of that biodiversity are, for the most part, in varied and distinct natural history collections, making assessing the information a difficult task. Now, the National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program, is responding to the need for greater accessibility of biological collections data by awarding four major grants that seek to create a national resource of digital data documenting existing biological collections.

Infectious disease transmission links disease vectors, disease hosts and human habitations. Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation.

Biological diversity is critical to the future of our planet, say researchers. Incomplete information on species, their distributions and environmental and biological changes over time make it difficult, however, to assess the status of and changes in biodiversity.

Much of the relevant information exists in the nation’s research collections, but the majority isn’t integrated and isn’t readily available online. It’s “dark data”–inaccessible to most biologists, policy-makers and the general public.

Dr. Lawrence Page

Dr. Christopher Dietrich

“Biological research collections are valuable national resources that document hundreds of years of environmental change as reflected in changes in biodiversity, and provide baseline data for studies of the effects of climate and land use change, and invasive species, on organisms,” says Joann Roskoski, acting director of NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences. “This program will markedly increase the accessibility of valuable information residing as ‘dark data’ in collections to researchers, educators and the public, and will stimulate new research across many fields of science and engineering.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology

One award will establish a central National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections, and three large collaborative awards will allow for the development of Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs) to digitize data from biological research collections, and make the data available to scientists and the public. The program is expected to result in more efficient and innovative ways to provide access to information in biological research collections, and to speed up the process of integrating diverse information on the genetic, ecological, organismal and molecular biology of specimens in collections.

Dr. Randall T. Schuh

Dr. Corinna Gries

Standardized digital photos of specimens will be linked with DNA sequences, pathogens found on the specimens, environmental variables at the collecting localities, and electron micrographs, for example. Training for future researchers on collections techniques, informatics technology and data integration is part of the efforts. The awards provide graduate and undergraduate training opportunities, and outreach to K-12 educators, students and non-scientists. Each of the three TCNs focuses on “grand challenge” (major scientific) questions in biodiversity, and offers multiple research opportunities as data become widely available. The TCN awards include 92 institutions in 45 states. The principal investigators are Dr. Lawrence Page of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Dr. Christopher Dietrich of Illinois Natural History Survey, Dr. Randall T. Schuh of the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Corinna Gries of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Limnology.  (For complete press release go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121015&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click )

Montana 07/09/11 missoulian.com: by Rob Chaney – Idaho’s proposed 2011 wolf hunt will run without quotas in most parts of the state, wildlife officials said Friday. “We really don’t have a number we’re trying to get to,” Idaho Fish and Game director Virgil Moore said at a news conference in Boise. “What we’re trying to do is be sure we can relieve both social and biological conflicts, where we have more wolves than needed. It’s no different than any other big-game animal. We haven’t established a number, but we will monitor the harvest to make sure we never get close to the delisting threshold that was established by the 2002 legislative plan and the plan established by the (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Service.” Idaho currently has about 1,000 wolves. Gray wolves could be reconsidered for federal endangered species protection if their numbers fall below 150 individuals or 15 breeding pairs in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will decide on its wolf rules at its July 27-28 meeting in Salmon.

Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission meets July 14 to consider its own 2011 wolf hunt plan. Unlike Idaho, Montana wildlife managers proposed a quota of 220 wolves, distributed across 14 wolf management units. That’s up from the 75 wolves allowed in the state’s first modern-day wolf hunt in 2009. Barely one-third of 1 percent of Montana’s 19,000 wolf tag buyers killed a wolf that year.

In Idaho, the success rate for its wolf hunt was just 1 percent. Moore said about 20,000 of the state’s 30,000 tag buyers actually tried to hunt wolves that year. “Seeing wolf tracks or wolf scat, even hearing wolves howl, is not the same thing as seeing a wolf and having an opportunity to take a wolf,” Idaho Fish and Game big-game manager Jon Rachael said. Nevertheless, Idaho ranchers reported a significant drop in livestock depredations after the 2009 hunt. When a lawsuit canceled the 2010 hunt, those depredation counts went back up to average, he said. Idaho is adding trapping to its allowable wolf-killing methods this year. The state has about 1,000 licensed trappers, but Moore said it was unknown how many would be skilled enough or willing to invest the time and equipment necessary to successfully trap wolves.

Montana’s wolf season will not allow trapping, according to FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. “We’re going to learn what we can about hunting before we add that,” Aasheim said on Friday. “We want to be more surgical in our management.” Montana wolf hunters would have to report their kills within 12 hours, while Idaho hunters have 72 hours to contact game wardens about a kill. Five areas will receive careful attention in the Idaho hunt, including the Lolo Zone along the Montana-Idaho border. Idaho authorized a population reduction there last year because those wolves were suspected of over-hunting elk herds. Montana officials considered a similar action on their Bitterroot Valley side of the border, but dropped plans after the wolf was delisted. Wolves also move across the border, so both states must be careful to preserve the genetic connectivity of the area, Moore said. But having the hunt in place should relieve some of the public concern about loss of elk there. “That pent-up frustration is taken care of just by having the hunting season,” Moore said. “The frustration we saw at check stations in 2008 went away in 2009 (the year of the first wolf hunt). Hunters knew we needed to manage wolves, and hunting is part of that management toolbox. Once they had that tag in their pocket, the frustration level dropped dramatically.”

California 07/08/11 patch.com: by MarieSam Sanchez – Officials from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) announced today that three more dead birds infected with the West Nile virus have been found in Cerritos, upping the total to six discoveries in the city this year alone. Five of the six birds have been identified as American Crows and one bird was listed as an “unknown” species, Truc Dever, Director of Community Affairs for the GLACVCD, told Patch. “They were all collected in June between June 8th and 22nd,” Dever stated. “The location in Cerritos is the area north of Cerritos Towne Center.” More specifically, the cluster was found between Norwalk Boulevard and Shoemaker Avenue and the Golden State (5) and Artesia (91) freeways, she added. It was exactly two weeks ago when district officials announced the discovery of two WNV infected American Crows in the city. The dead crows were found on Beach Street near Frontier Park, and in a residential neighborhood on Glen Creek Road. The agency had been alerted to the birds by people living in the area. Experts say Los Angeles County is quickly seeing an amplification in West Nile virus activity as summer temperatures continue to soar, prompting district staff to amp up mosquito control, surveillance, and public education activities in areas where increased virus activity has been confirmed. There have been nine total positive mosquito samples confirmed within District boundaries this year to date, according to Dever.

Illinois 07/09/11 patch.com: by Mary Ann Lopez – Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in DuPage County, the county Health Department reported Friday. The mosquitoes were found in traps in Lemont on Wednesday and Thursday. The mosquitoes are the first to test positive for the virus in the county and were found in a trap in an area of Lemont that is in southern DuPage, the Health Department said in a news release Friday. So far, no human cases have been reported in the county this summer, according to the news release. The DuPage County Health Department is collecting dead birds for testing. County residents who find freshly dead birds, like crows or jays, are asked to contact the department. The birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma and the Health Department must be able to pick them up in time to be shipped to the state laboratory by the close of business on Thursdays. To report a dead bird, call 630-682-7400.

Massachusetts 07/08/11 boston.com: by Deborah Kotz – For the first time this year, West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health reported today. The infected mosquitoes were found in Boston Wednesday.  So far, there have been no human cases of the infection, which is transmitted through a mosquito bite.  Last year, seven state residents came down with the virus, which can cause high fevers and headaches but usually isn’t life threatening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the infected individuals recovered. The Boston Public Health Commission also reported today that two positive mosquito pools were found in West Roxbury. The city has begun putting larvicide in catch basins in Boston neighborhoods, to help reduce the number of mosquitoes.

South Dakota 07/08/11 sd.gov: Press Release – South Dakota’s first West Nile virus (WNV) case of the 2011 season is a Brown County resident in the 50-59 age group, the Department of Health reported today. Peak transmission in South Dakota is from July through early September but WNV cases can also occur earlier.  Last year, in 2010, the state reported its first case July 2.  Since its first human WNV case in 2002, the state has reported 1,757 cases and 26 deaths. “We do expect more mosquitoes this summer with so many areas affected by flooding and we expect other people to be bitten and infected with the WNV,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health. “West Nile has already been detected in mosquitoes in neighboring states (Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming) and in mammals in North Dakota) and the peak transmission period for the virus is approaching so now is the time to get in the habit of using insect repellent.”

Georgia 07/08/11 gainesvilletimes.com: A rabies alert has been issued for the Trudy Circle area of West Hall County after a rabid raccoon was confirmed in the area. The raccoon came in contact with two dogs July 2. The raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab, Virology Section in Decatur and confirmed positive for rabies on Friday. This is the sixth confirmed case of 2011. Alert signs will be posted in the area where the rabid raccoon was found. If you live in this area or you see an animal acting abnormally, contact Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830 or during nonworking hours call Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812.

Maine 07/08/11 maine.gov: A fox killed Thursday at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth was found to be rabid after testing on Friday by the Maine State Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. It is the second animal tested and found rabid this year in Cape Elizabeth, according to Corey Hamilton, South Portland animal control officer. That first rabid animal also was a fox, he said. It is the ninth animal tested and found rabid in Cumberland County this year, according to the state lab website. A total of 26 animals so far have been tested and found rabid in Maine. The fox attacked and bit a 3-year-old boy and his mother at the park’s playground on Thursday afternoon. The child had tried to pet the fox, thinking it was a cat. The animal also attacked a park ranger, who wasn’t bitten by the animal. Under emergency protocol, the state park was closed and evacuated by park staff until the fox was found and killed.  Hamilton described the animal as male gray fox, about 1 year old and weighing 15 to 16 pounds. The fox carcass was taken to the state lab Friday morning, with testing completed that afternoon. The results were reported to the Maine Department of Conservation, which oversees the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL).

State Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears, of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reminds Maine residents to avoid contact with wild animals and to make sure their pets are up to date on rabies vaccination. “By avoiding contact with wild animals and maintaining pet vaccinations, we can prevent the spread of rabies,” Sears said. “Maine law requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated because they often have contact with animals at high risk for rabies.” “It was very unfortunate that the child and mother were bitten and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Will Harris, BPL director, said Friday afternoon. “We hope our visitors will continue to enjoy our state parks, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure they have a positive experience. Our visitors also should protect themselves by staying back and observing, rather than approaching wildlife.”

Massachusetts 07/08/11 capenews.net: by Diana T. Barth – A rabid fox attacked a Bournedale resident in his driveway across from Great Herring Pond near the Plymouth/Bourne line just before 8 o’clock on Sunday evening. Bourne Heath Agent Cynthia A. Coffin said the man suffered from a scratch that made it necessary for him to undergo post-exposure rabies vaccinations. “Everybody did the right thing,” said Timothy W. Mullen, director of the Bourne Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Mullen said the resident was able to kick the fox away, creating some distance, although not before the fox left a scratch on his leg with either its teeth or nails. When the fox ran toward the woods, rather than let the animal escape to attack someone else, the man chased after it and killed it with a paddle. The resident called the police to report the incident, and officers responded shortly thereafter. The police, in turn, called the DNR. A natural resources officer asked that the fox carcass be kept on ice until the officer could get to the scene. Mr. Mullen said the man was then persuaded to go to the hospital, while his wife brought the fox carcass to Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists in Buzzards Bay to be prepared for testing. On Monday morning at 8, a DNR officer brought the fox’s head to the state laboratory in Jamaica Plain, where it tested positive for rabies.

New Jersey 07/08/11 therepublic.com: Testing shows a kitten and another cat that attacked humans in northwestern New Jersey last week were rabid. Animal control officials tell the New Jersey Herald of Newton that other animals in the Wantage Township area may be infected, so residents are being warned to avoid wild or strangely acting animals. In one incident, a woman was attacked twice by the same feral cat as she got out of her car. The other involved three family members who were scratched by a kitten they took in because they thought it had a broken leg. They’re undergoing shots for rabies exposure. Officials have “strong suspicions” that a skunk, woodchuck and opossum found around the family’s home also may have rabies. Test results on those animals won’t be available until Monday.

New York 07/08/11 by Sarah Studley – A woodchuck captured in Ossining has been confirmed rabid, the Westchester County Department of Health said today. According to a statement, “The woodchuck appeared unhealthy and was captured and submitted for rabies testing on July 1. Test results received late yesterday confirmed that it was rabid.” The woodchuck was found in the area of Morningside Drive, between Nord Circle and Ridgeview Drive on July 1. “Anyone who believes that they or a pet may have had contact with this woodchuck, should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment,” said Westchester County Acting Commissioner of Health, Dr. Cheryl Archbald. “Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive immediate rabies vaccination.”

Pennsylvania 07/10/11 timesleader.com: Edwardsville – Police are searching for a dog that viscously attacked a young girl Saturday morning. Police said the dog attacked the 6-year-old girl in her yard at 25 Church Street, biting the girl in her cheek, eye and nose area. The girl’s parents heard her cries and came to the backyard, at which point the dog ran away, police said. The girl was undergoing treatment at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for non-life threatening injuries Saturday, police said, and may need to undergo a series of rabies shots if the dog that bit her cannot be located. The animal is described as a black and white dog, possibly a pit bull or Labrador retriever, last seen in the area of Church Street. Anyone with information about the dog’s owners or whereabouts is asked to contact Officer Lehman of the Edwardsville Police at 288-8463.

Pennsylvania 07/08/11 goerie.com: by David Bruce – A skunk found on a Union Township farm has tested positive for rabies. Six Yorkshire terriers who fought with the animal are quarantined for observation, said Karen Martin, veterinarian for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s northwest region. The skunk is the third animal to test positive for rabies in Erie County in 2011. Nine animals tested positive for the virus in 2010.

Texas 07/09/11 mysanantonio.com: by Zeke MacCormack – The death last week of a rabid raccoon at an animal rehabilitation center in Kendalia has prompted renewed warnings by authorities in Kendall County, where three rabies cases were previously reported this year. The ailing raccoon was found in a Bergheim resident’s yard June 3 and taken to the rehabilitation center, where it died Tuesday and was sent for testing at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, according to Kendall County Chief Deputy Matt King. Anyone who has concerns about a possibly-rabid animal should call the Kendall County Animal Shelter at 830-537-3430.

Virginia 07/08/11 tricities.com: by Allie Robinson – A raccoon picked up on New Hampshire Avenue last week tested positive for rabies, according to preliminary results sent Wednesday to the Bristol Virginia Police Department from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, according to a written statement from the Police Department. The raccoon was found near an area of King Mill Pike, where another rabid raccoon was found in June.

Travel Warnings:

Ecuador 07/09/11 typepad.com: A 13-year-old died a month ago from hemorrhagic dengue in Esmeraldas and four more cases of this disease have recently been confirmed, one in the same province and three in Manabí. They have set off epidemiological alarms in both coastal jurisdictions, where hundreds of cases of classic dengue are also reported. In Esmeraldas the Provincial Health Directorate considered the southern neighbourhoods the focus of the outbreak. The Directorate extended the alert to the neighbourhoods of Las Tolitas and San Rafael, saying they are “highly” likely to develop the disease, which is caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The agency reported that in the Codesa sector alone, 265 classic dengue cases have been reported so far this year. César Díaz Cortez, provincial health director, said that the cause of the increase in cases is the lack of potable water: People conserve it in containers inside and outside their homes, converting them into mosquito nurseries.

Colorado Squirrel and Cat test positive for Bubonic Plague; Typhus now endemic to Travis County, Texas; Montana authorizes trappers to shoot Wolves killing Calves; Beaver that attacked three people in Pennsylvania had Rabies; and Rabies reports from Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Albert's or Tassel-Eared Squirrel. Concentrations are found in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado 06/04/11 denverpost.com: A pet cat and a dead squirrel have tested positive for the plague, the Daily Camera reports. The cat, which lived in the 2500 block of Sixth Street, tested positive for the bubonic plague after its owner took it into the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to be checked out by veterinarians, Boulder County health officials said. A dead squirrel found at the intersection of Eighth and Maxwell also tested positive for the plague. The cat was successfully treated with antibiotics. Plague occurs naturally in Colorado and is an infectious disease spread by fleas to wild rodents and other small mammals.

Texas 06/04/11 statesman.com: by Mary Ann Roser – From January to May, local health authorities investigated more typhus cases than they did during the same period last year and in 2009, another indication that the once-rare disease is now establishing itself in Central Texas. In five months, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department tallied eight probable and confirmed reports of murine typhus, not counting two others still under investigation. That compares with five probable and confirmed cases last year from January through May and six during that same period in 2009. Given the small numbers, the increase isn’t statistically significant, said Carole Barasch, health department spokeswoman. But after four years of annual outbreaks of murine typhus, it’s now clear the illness, which can be fatal, is endemic in Travis County, and residents need to take precautions, she said. Murine typhus is a flea-borne disease that commonly occurs in South Texas, California and Hawaii, with most cases reported from May through September. It is spread by fleas from rats, opossums, dogs, cats and raccoons. Humans contract it when an infected flea bites and leaves its feces on the bite wound. Symptoms include high fever, headache, chills, vomiting, nausea, muscle pain and rash. Patients generally respond to antibiotics, but some must be hospitalized. Two patients have been hospitalized this year; none died, Barasch said. Cases this year have been reported in four ZIP codes — 78722, 78703, 78704, and 78751 — and patients have ranged in age from 13 to 56, she said. For all of last year, the health department reported 14 confirmed and possible cases of typhus in Travis County; in 2009, there were 35 such cases, she said. A lack of rain can prompt animals to seek alternative water sources, possibly near dwellings and people. The health department advises that the public use flea control measures to protect themselves and their pets. Those steps include feeding pets indoors to avoid attracting wild animals to the neighborhood; clearing heavy undergrowth and debris from yards to keep animals from nesting; wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes when outside; and using insect repellents containing the active ingredient DEET. Statewide, the number of reported murine typhus cases has increased dramatically between 1998, when there were 45, and 2007 — the most recent year for data — when there were 169. That jump is the result of health officials more actively looking for cases, the state’s website says.

Montana 06/04/11 mtstandard.com: by Nick Gevock – Federal trappers confirmed three wolf attacks recently that left calves dead on private ranches near Dell, Polaris and Avon. In the incident near Dell, a wolf or wolves killed one calf, said Nathan Lance, Butte wolf biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Lance said biologists know of one pack in the area – the Four Eyes pack – but are uncertain if it was responsible. Biologists received a report of a lone wolf spotted in the area. The state authorized U.S. Wildlife Services to kill one wolf and collar another if they return. In another incident, the Bannack pack is believed to have attacked and killed a calf in the Grasshopper Valley west of Dillon. A federal trapper shot and killed one wolf, leaving three in the pack. Wolves also killed two calves on a private ranch near Avon. FWP does not know which pack was responsible. State biologists authorized trappers to shoot any wolves spotted on the ranch and has also issued the rancher shoot-on-sight permits for two wolves.

Pennsylvania 06/03/11 state.pa.us: Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, today announced test results for a beaver that attacked three individuals in northeast Philadelphia show that the animal was infected with the rabies virus.  Test results were provided to the Game Commission today, at 2:10 p.m., by the Department of Health’s Bureau of Laboratories in Exton, Chester County. Yesterday evening, the beaver carcass was taken to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, Kennett Square, Chester County, and prepared for transfer for rabies testing at the Department of Health facility.  A full necropsy will be conducted at New Bolton to determine if there were other potential causes, such as injury or another type of disease. As a precaution, Game Commission officials continue to encourage residents to avoid the Pennypack Creek waterfront area between Bustleton Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard in northeast Philadelphia.

Florida 06/03/11 floridatoday.com: by J.D. Gallop – Brevard County health officials are warning Cocoa residents to be on the alert after a woman was exposed to a rabid raccoon. The woman is being treated as a precaution, health officials reported. Authorities are also asking residents in the area of Fan Palm Avenue to contact Brevard County Health Department officials if they or their pets have been exposed to any stray animals. Health departments received confirmation Thursday of rabies present in the raccoon, which was found in the area of Fan Palm Avenue. Health officials warn residents to report any strange behavior by animals and to avoid touching or coming near wildlife such as raccoons or bats. Call (321) 454-7111 for more information.

Illinois 06/03/11 patch.com: A bat that tested positive for rabies was discovered at Oak Park School in Aurora earlier this week. The bat was found outside the building by a custodian early in the morning before school. There was no human exposure. Bats are the most common carrier of rabies in Illinois. Five bats testing positive were found in Kane County last year. Six were found in 2009, nine in 2008, five in 2007 and one in 2006. The last human case of rabies in Illinois was reported in 1954. For information about a referral for capturing bats or for submitting specimens for testing, please call Kane County Animal Control at (630) 232-3555.

Missouri 06/03/11 stltoday.com: The O’Fallon Police Department is requesting the public’s help in finding a dog that bit a 9-year-old boy. The boy was bitten about 8:30 a.m. May 24 near the intersection of Dona Jane and Collier in O’Fallon. The bite was not reported until that afternoon, and police have been unable to locate the dog. O’Fallon’s Animal Control Division and the police department are attempting to identify the dog to verify current rabies vaccinations. The dog is described as a yellow Labrador weighing 65-75 pounds. To report information that may assist in the investigation, call 636-240-3200.

New Hampshire 06/03/11 nashuatelegraph.com: by Joseph G. Cote – A fox that police “dispatched” Wednesday evening after it bit three people tested positive for rabies Thursday. Police and Fish and Game officials were able to lure the fox to a field near Back River Road and shot it around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. State lab tests revealed that the fox was rabid, according to Bedford police Sgt. Scott Plumer. Any residents who had contact with the fox are encouraged to contact their doctor and to contact their veterinarian if their pet had contact with the fox, Plumer said. Police were first called to 32 Back River Road around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after the fox attacked a 5-year-old boy, biting him on the left leg as he left his house. The boy’s mother was also bitten when she pried the animal off the little boy, police said. Bedford and state Fish and Game officers tried to track the fox and had to notify schools in the area. Later, the fox ran inside a day care center on Back River Road and bit a young girl, Fish and Game conservation officer Geoff Pushee said. Bedford police Sgt. Gary Norton said someone opened a door at the New Morning School at 23 Back River Road and the fox was right outside around 2 p.m. It bit a girl, who is about 4 years old but didn’t go into the building farther than the doorway. All three bite victims had scrapes and puncture wounds, but no life-threatening injuries, Norton said. Officers were able to use an electronic call that mimics a rabbit in distress to lure the fox to an area near Back River Road where it was shot, Pushee said.

Pennsylvania 06/03/11 altoonamirror.com: A bat found in an Altoona residence on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies, the state Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday. The bat flew into the Chestnut Avenue residence after it was initially found between the outside door and screen door. The department said the owner managed to get the bat out of the house, but the next morning found a dead bat on the front steps. No one in the home or any domestic animals had contact with the bat, Region 5 Domestic Animal Inspector Dawn M. Dilling said. But the threat was there, and this is a good example of why domestic animals that remain indoors should be vaccinated against rabies, Region 5 Supervisor of Dog Law Enforcement Harold Walstrom said Thursday. In addition to the Blair County case, department investigators have recently learned of positive rabies test results for a raccoon in Huntingdon County and another in Centre County. In Huntingdon County, a positive test came back Wednesday from a raccoon killed May 25 in the yard of a Cromwell Township residence, after the raccoon began chasing an individual. In Centre County, a raccoon tested positive for rabies on May 25. It was found May 19 in a yard by a homeowner who thought the raccoon was dead and put it in a plastic bag. When the raccoon began to make noise, the homeowner contacted a local wildlife rehabilitator. After the raccoon died, it was submitted for rabies testing.

Texas 06/03/11 dentonrc.com: by Donna Fielder – Authorities are warning residents in west Denton to watch their animals because of a confirmed case of rabies in a cat that bit a woman in the Ranch Estates neighborhood.  Officer Ryan Grelle said Thursday that an elderly resident feeds several cats in that area. Sometime within the past few days, one of the cats bit the elderly woman’s caretaker, he said. The cat was taken to a veterinarian and tested. On Wednesday, Denton Animal Services employees were notified that the test results were positive for rabies.  “The cat was put down and the caretaker is under medical care,” Grelle said. “We have put out traps, and any cat captured will be tested. The woman has promised to cooperate and turn over any cats that she feeds for testing as well.”

Virginia 06/04/11 washintonpost.com: Fairfax County police said a rabid cat bit an 11-year-old girl and a man, 25. The incident occurred about 7:45 a.m. Friday near the 4200 block of Lees Corner Road in the Chantilly area, police said. It was unclear how the two came into contact with the stray cat, but Brookfield Elementary School is in that block, and a stop for the county bus system is nearby. A neighborhood resident said stray cats had been seen in the past in a drainpipe. After the incident on Friday, county animal control officers captured the cat, which was euthanized and tested positive for rabies, authorities said. The cat was described as a black-striped brown tabby with yellow eyes. Authorities said its behavior was strange. Anyone who had contact with the cat in the past three weeks was asked to call animal control at 703-691-2131.

Wisconsin 06/03/11 wsau.com: The Marathon County health department is looking for a dog that bit a young man in the town of Bevent on Tuesday. “Chunk” is a Welsh corgi with short legs and mixed colors. It is not current on its rabies vaccinations. The dog bite happened on Pinery Road and Shawnee Drive. Authorities need to find the dog so they can take it to the Marathon County humane society. If you have information, you should call the health department at 715-261-1908 or the sheriff’s department at 715-849-7785. Finding the dog could prevent the victim from getting some painful rabies shots.

Bobcat seized from residence in Arizona; Guam officials may shoot stray Dogs; Canine pack that attacked Rhode Island teen may have been Coyotes; Texas development and Wildlife in conflict; Rabies reports from CT, MO, NH, PA(2), VA, & WV; & a Wolf report from OR. Canada: National vaccine recall. Travel Warnings for Sri Lanka & Uganda.

Bobcat. Photo by Len Blumin. Widimedia Commons.

Arizona 04/21/11 kingmandailyminer.com: Two Arizona Game and Fish Department officers recently seized a live bobcat from a residence west of Seligman. The violator was cited at the scene for possession of live wildlife, which, without the proper permit, is against the law in Arizona. Permits are never issued for people to keep wildlife as a pet. During the course of the contact, it became clear the violator had no control of the bobcat, which jumped on one officer three times and a second officer once. The second officer suffered a small scratch to the face, but it is unknown if it was caused by a tooth or claw. By law, the bobcat was seized. Due to the potential for rabies exposure, the animal was euthanized for testing. “It is unfortunate,” said Zen Mocarski, public information officer for the Game and Fish regional office in Kingman. “This cat would never have been returned to the wild because it has been clearly imprinted by humans. If it weren’t for the possibility of disease exposure, it might have been provided to a zoo or other wildlife facility.” The officer scratched by the bobcat has already started rabies treatment. Mocarski said the possibility of this animal testing positive for rabies is low, but the potential consequences if it tests positive are enormous for all those involved.

Guam 04/21/11 guampdn.com: by Oyaol Ngirairikl – With a stray animal population of 40,000, the community needs to start thinking about controlling the number of strays, officials said. At a round-table discussion at the Legislature yesterday, Vincent Salas, an animal control officer at the Department of Agriculture, said he agrees with Guam’s territorial veterinarian, Thomas Poole, that shooting dogs, particularly those that are feral, would help get the population to a more controllable number. He said feral dogs would be shot at fairly close range and only by qualified people. He didn’t say whether dogs would be rounded up and taken to a different location or shot where they’re found. Some people think many of the stray animals are non-threatening, but Salas has seen otherwise, he said. For example, several days ago, a stray dog tried to attack Salas after he responded to a call at the Department of Public Health and Social Services to remove the animal. Guam law allows the Guam Police Department, a mayor, or a person authorized by the Agriculture Department’s director to kill animals if they are attacking or are considered “an immediate menace” to anyone. (For complete article go to http://www.guampdn.com/article/20110422/NEWS01/104220303 )

Rhode Island 04/22/11 projo.com: A 19-year-old Cranston woman is receiving the rabies vaccine as a precaution, the state Department of Health reported. In early March, the woman was running on Pippin Orchard Road in western Cranston and was scratched and bitten by animals, said Annemarie Beardsworth, spokeswoman for the Department of Health. The woman reported she thought five or six dogs were chasing her, Beardsworth said, but when they got closer, thought they may have been coyotes.  “She did not have her glasses on,” Beardsworth said. A month later, on April 6, the woman reported the incident to a doctor at the Garden City Medical Treatment Center in Cranston. The police and Department of Health were promptly contacted. Because so much time had passed and the animals involved could not be located, Beardsworth said, the Department of Health exercised caution. “Because there were so many unknowns,” Beardsworth said, “we recommended and approved the rabies vaccination for this woman.”

Texas 04/22/11 kltv.com: by Bob Hallmark – Even in small communities, housing and urban development is moving into areas that were formerly occupied by its original inhabitants: Wildlife. Henderson animal control officers have trapped wildlife near or inside the city limits. “Oh yeah, we’ve seen bobcats, coyotes, foxes, skunks even wild hogs in residential areas,” says Henderson Animal Control Director Veronica Whittington. There have been some bizarre encounters. “Yesterday we have a lady walk out of her house and call us saying a snake fell right around her neck,” she says. And some very big escaped pets have been trapped, like a 12-foot python. Near homes and even schools, close encounters are becoming regular. “Just around our building we’ve seen raccoons, we’ve seen possums, wild hogs,” says Preschool Director Vickey Whitt. “A coyote jumped a fence and bit a woman’s dog on the nose, the coyote wouldn’t leave her yard now,” Whittington says. And there is a real danger. “Especially people who have small pets or small children. The diseases they can pass to your pets and to you, there’s a lot of diseases that can be passed on to humans,” says Whittington. Whittington says most of the encounters are easily explained, and are usually animals looking for food. But with East Texas having so much open, wooded country, animal control officers say we should no longer be surprised. “There’s a lot more wildlife inside the city limits than people think, because we have so much wooded area,” Veronica says. There have been no reports encounters of larger animals like cougars or bears. All wildlife trapped by Henderson Animal Control is re-located by Texas Parks and Wildlife agents.

Connecticut 04/22/11 theday.com: by Stephen Chupaska – East Lyme-Waterford Animal Control is asking residents in both towns to take precautions against coming in contact with rabid animals. Animal Control Officer Robert Yuchniuk said Thursday there have been reports of an ill raccoon in the Union Cemetery area along East Pattagansett Road in Niantic. Yuchniuk said there have been two positive tests for rabies in Waterford in the past month, and there has been an increase in the number of sightings and disposing of rabid animals. Anyone who sees an animal that appears aggressive, ill or without fear of larger animals or humans should call the animal control department at (860) 442-9451.

Missouri 04/22/11 newspressnow.com: by Kristin Hoppa – St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue officials continued searching the Midtown area Friday for three pit bulls that attacked a woman earlier in the week. The department increased patrol routes in hopes of locating the owner of the dogs that attacked the 33-year-old woman Tuesday evening as she arrived at her cousin’s house, in the 1500 block of Sylvanie Street.  “I pulled up to the house and I saw the dogs acting very playfully, coming toward me,” she said. “They came up, kind of sniffing my legs and weaving in between my legs.” As she tried to avoid the animals, stepping to the side, one dog began nipping at her ankles. “Then one just latched on,” she said. “I fell down, another one bit my face and I just screamed and screamed and screamed.” A man in the neighborhood came to help the woman. Hearing the commotion, her cousin came outside and dragged her to safety. “The man had a bat, but I have no idea who he was,” the woman said. “He just came and chased the dogs off.” The woman’s cousin drove her to Heartland Regional Medical Center with several wounds, including a torn ear lobe, large bite to the face and puncture wounds to her face. She is undergoing rabies vaccinations and received 34 stitches. As of Friday afternoon, the pit bulls, described as one fawn, one blue and one dark-colored, had not been located. Mr. Smith said not all pit bulls are aggressive, but all animals hold the potential for aggression. Anyone with information on the pit bulls is being asked to call (816) 271-4877.

New Hampshire 04/21/11 concordmonitor.com: To the woman visiting the Wesley Church playground on Clinton Street last Sunday around 10:15 a.m. with a small blonde girl and large grayish dog: When your dog nipped at my son, contact was made and the skin was broken. No problem, except that all the medical and public health professionals are telling us that if we cannot identify the dog and make sure that it does not have rabies, which I expect it does not, then my boy needs a series of rabies shots. The shots are not as bad as in the past, but they are still to be avoided if possible. Please contact me or my wife Deborah at 892-0359 as soon as possible. If anyone else recognizes this person, please let us know. Most likely the owner of the dog is a resident in the college streets area. Benjamin Venator.

Oregon 04/22/11 hermistonherald.com: by Luke Hegdal – With the presence of wolves already documented in eastern Umatilla County, it was likely only a matter of time before wolf sightings near Hermiston began to be reported. Larry Weems, a self-described avid outdoorsman, reported seeing a large wolf near Cold Springs Reservoir, roughly eight miles east of Hermiston, on Wednesday, April 20.  Weems told the Hermiston Herald he had been driving on Kosmos Road early Wednesday morning when he spotted a large deer herd running as if spooked by something.  “I’ve seen other wolves,” Weems said. “But this was by far the biggest wolf I’ve ever seen. It was huge.”  According to Russ Morgan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator, it’s not impossible that a wolf might show up in Hermiston. Morgan said a motivated wolf can travel as much as 100 miles in a single day, and he has documented lone wolf trips up to 30 miles. With confirmed wolf sightings in Umatilla County earlier this year, it could easily be possible for a wolf to trek as far west as Hermiston. “Wolves are a well-traveled animal,” Morgan said. “We’ve had  periodic reports all over eastern Oregon.” Morgan added that most reports turn out to be something other than wolves. “Most commonly it’s coyotes,” Morgan said, adding that he occasionally receives wolf sighting reports from downtown Portland that are usually coyotes. “There’s a lot of wolf-like dogs,” Morgan said. “That also makes it difficult.” While not discounting the possibility of a wolf so near Hermiston, Morgan said it was unlikely. Weems, however, was adamant that what he saw was, in fact, a wolf. “I got a real good look at him,” Weems said, describing the animal as roughly 40 inches tall at the shoulder. “I spend a lot of time outdoors. I know the difference between a wolf and a coyote. I’ve shot a lot of coyotes – but this was no coyote.”

Pennsylvania 04/23/11 patch.com: by Mike Jones – State and county authorities are searching for the owner of a black Labrador retriever that encountered a raccoon last week on the Panhandle Trail near McDonald. The raccoon tested positive for rabies Thursday after a game commission officer was called to trap the animal on the trail. Authorities from the state Department of Agriculture and Allegheny County Health Department are now looking for the owners of the black lab, which apparently fought with the raccoon Tuesday night, because the pet might be infected. Dave Zazac, a spokesman for the county Health Department, said a witness caught the “tail-end of the encounter” and called authorities to report the condition of the raccoon. The owner of the dog, however, left the scene because they appeared to be “shaken up.” “We have no idea where they are from,” Zazac said. He said it is important for the dog’s owners to contact the state or county immediately in case the pet is infected. If you know who owns this black lab, call the state Department of Agriculture at 724-443-1585 or the county Health Department at 412-687-2243. This is the second rabid raccoon reported in Allegheny County this year, county Health Director Bruce Dixon said.

Pennsylvania 04/22/11 timesonline.com: by Patrick O’Shea – A local resident has been bitten by a rabid dog in New Sewickley Township, the state Department of Agriculture reported. According to a March 31 report from the department’s Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services, an unvaccinated dog on Ziegler Road that had an encounter with a skunk four months ago abruptly exhibited signs of aggression last month against its owner. The dog was confined to a patio room, where it repeatedly threw itself against the glass door, and the owner was bitten while trying to intercede. The dog was euthanized and tested positive for rabies. The owner, who is not identified in the report, is receiving post-exposure rabies vaccinations. The rabid dog had been in contact with three other family dogs four days prior to displaying symptoms. According to the report, one dog with current vaccinations was placed under quarantine for 90 days. Another dog with expired vaccinations was placed under a 180-day quarantine, and a 3-month-old puppy that had never been vaccinated was euthanized. 410 animals were reported positive for rabies in 2010 in Pennsylvania. The breakdown: Raccoons, 217; Cats, 56; Skunks, 56; Bats, 28; Foxes, 25; Cattle, 7; Deer, 6; Groundhogs, 5; Horses, 5; Dogs, 4. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Virginia 04/22/11 wpcva.com: Pittsylvania County Health Department has issued three separate rabies alerts. A skunk found on Blackbird Place in Cascade tested positive for rabies, according to Kelly Waller, a senior environmental health specialist with the health department in Chatham.  In addition, rabid raccoons were found on Carriage Hill Drive in the Mount Cross community and Long View Road in Hurt, Waller said. For more information please contact the Pittsylvania Health Department at 432-7232, extension 260.

West Virginia 04/22/11 statejournal.com: The Preston County health department has reported a rabid raccoon in the Albright area, it hasn’t bit anyone but health officials are on the alert. The raccoon tested positive for the rabies virus after fighting with a person’s dog and killing it.  Preston County health officials say it’s the third case in the county in the last year. They say the number is unusually high for the county and that there’s been higher numbers of rabies cases all over the state. They say the high number of waterways and raccoons have contributed to that number in Preston County.

Canada:

National www.hc-sc.gc.ca: Health Canada – Important information regarding IXIARO® Japanese Encephalitis vaccine (inactivated, adsorbed), Lot JEV09L37C.  Intercell AG and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (Novartis), in consultation with Health Canada, are advising people who were vaccinated with one or both doses of lot JEV09L37C of IXIARO® after December 23, 2010, that this specific lot may not provide full protection against Japanese Encephalitis. Therefore, lot JEV09L37C IXIARO® is being recalled in Canada.

  • Individuals who were vaccinated with a Japanese Encephalitis vaccine after December 23rd, 2010, should check if they were vaccinated with IXIARO® Lot JEV09L37C.
  • If so, they should return to their Health Care Professional to be re-vaccinated, if they are still at risk of exposure to Japanese Encephalitis.

Travel Warnings:

Sri Lanka 04/23/11 dailymirror.lk: Thirty-two dengue related deaths were reported during the first four months of this year, while 3,784 patients were reported. The epidemiology unit of the Health Ministry said that 716 patients were reported in April, 907 in January, 1,050 in February and 1,111 in March. The highest number of cases was reported from the Colombo District, where 1,273 patients and 12 deaths were reported. The dengue epidemic is on the rise, due to monsoonal rains, the unit said.

Uganda 04/22/11 monitor.co.ug: by Steven Ariong – Pokot pastoralists in Amudat are gripped with fear following an outbreak of rabies which is killing animals in the district. The disease, has reportedly killed six camels while several others have gone wild and are straying. Dr Michael Kasiro, the Amudat District veterinary officer, yesterday said a team of experts is on the ground to investigate the source of the disease. He expressed fear that the disease, which is currently in Loro Sub-county, could spread throughout the district if not well handled. “The disease started attacking a camel which later ran mad and it started jumping up and down, biting other animals, before it died. Unfortunately, we now suspect that many more animals have been infected,” Dr Kasiro said. He said the team, composed of the local staff, is now trying to kill all the animals that have gone wild so as to prevent the spread of the disease. Dr Kasiro added that the district is still grappling with the foot and mouth disease. “We are still stuck with foot and mouth disease. We have not yet finished with vaccination because we are waiting for more drugs,” he added.

Cornell scientists hope to control West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever by developing method of birth control for mosquitoes; Maine will pay hunters to kill coyotes; Georgia House approves bill to allow deer baiting while Senate kills bill on ranching “alternative livestock”; Rabies reports from Arkansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York (3), Texas, and Virginia (3); and a Coyote report from New York. Canada: Coyote reports from New Brunswick, and Ontario.

 

Global 03/18/11 usnews.com: Scientists who’ve uncovered the chemistry of mosquito sex say their research may reveal ways to control mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and dengue fever.  The Cornell University team found that more than 100 proteins in the male sperm of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — known to transmit yellow fever and dengue fever — permanently alter female mosquitoes’ tendencies to feed, produce eggs and mate.  The study is the first to identify male proteins that are transferred to females during mating. By isolating these proteins, it may be possible to develop a method of birth control for female mosquitoes, and potentially help control the spread of diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever and West Nile virus, said the researchers.  Currently, there is no effective treatment for dengue fever, a sometimes deadly infection suffered by millions of people worldwide each year.  “This is an exciting new avenue for identifying ultimate targets to reduce mosquito vector populations. Ultimately, we plan to select the most promising

Dr. Laura Harrington

candidate proteins as chemical targets or as a focus for the development of other methods for vector control,” study co-author Laura Harrington, an associate professor of entomology, said in a Cornell news release.  The study was published online March 16 in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. (See research article at http://www.plosntds.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pntd.0000989 )

Maine 03/17/11 reuters.com: by Sarah Mahoney – Maine officials unveiled a plan on Thursday to beef up the state’s dwindling deer population, including paying hunters to kill more coyotes in affected areas.  The declines in the state’s whitetail deer population have been occurring for decades and will require concerted efforts on several fronts, not just predator control, for deer to bounce back, Governor Paul Le Page said at a news conference.  Severe winters, fewer and poorer quality deer wintering areas known as deer yards, poaching and car collisions, along with predation, have contributed to the problem, he said.  “We can’t just blame this on coyote and bear,” he said.

The state now has an estimated 127,000 deer, officials said, down from 300,000 a decade ago.  Bear likely number about 30,000, and there are about 20,000 coyote, according to the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  Maine hunting organizations have been asking for a stronger herd-management plan for some time. Of the state’s 1.2 million residents, some 146,000 are hunters, and another 30,000 hunters come from out of state each year.

Deer hunting provides an estimated 4.500 jobs, said Chandler Woodcock, commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  The new program, which would allow hunters to lure coyotes with bait and hunt with dogs, is not a bounty, Woodcock said.  “We’re not talking about a wide-scale effort,” he said.  Hunters will be sent into areas with a known problem and paid a per-diem rate as well as some mileage costs, he said.  “With fuel costs what they are, we can’t expect people to spend their own time and money driving long distances into remote areas and not get compensated,” he said.

Conservationists caution that the role of predators is limited.  “Very sustained, targeted hunting of coyotes in deer yards where there has been documented predation can be effective in saving a few deer,” said Sally Stockwell, director of conservation for the Maine Audubon Society.  “But broad-scale hunting of coyotes has been proven to be ineffective over and over again,” she said. “Juveniles just move into the region and take over.”

The problem of declining deer herds is extensive in the northern, western and Down East regions of the state, while deer are still plentiful in the southern region.  Last year, 20,063 deer were shot and killed by hunters in Maine, an 11 percent gain over 2009, officials said.  State officials estimate the new program will need an additional $100,000 per year.  The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife department already encourages hunting of coyotes, working with sportsmen’s groups and providing road kill as bait.  Also, the state legislature recently extended the coyote season for an added two months, from December 16 to August 31.

Georgia 03/18/11 macon.com: by Maggie Lee – In one of the longest debates in a 12-hour state House session, 122 legislators voted to allow close-up hunting of deer that are eating snacks laid out for them.  The majority of legislators endorsed striking a law that says if hunters want to take aim at a deer that is browsing a supplemental feed source such as loose corn or salt lick, the hunter must shoot from at least 200 yards and out of sight of the hoofed animal.  The new open season on dining deer would only apply to the state’s so-called “southern zone,” meaning roughly all the counties below the fall line.

House Bill 277 proponents argued that deer are becoming something of a pest in the South.  “They eat the ripest blueberries on the bush. They know how to do it,” said blueberry farmer and state Rep. Tommy Smith, R-Nicholls.  Others argued that there are too many dangerous — and sometimes fatal — deer-vehicle collisions.   Rep. Jason Shaw, R-Lakeland, bill sponsor, said supplemental feeding is a sound herd management technique and makes it easier to inspect the herd and make culling decisions.  Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, admitted that he’s not a hunter but said, “Our hunters ought to be able to enjoy something that’s so important to them.”   Besides, if anyone thinks it’s unsportsmanlike, Williams pointed out that some people make friends with their cows, even give them names, then kill them at close range.

The most serious of the bill’s 48 opponents was Rep. David Knight, R-Griffin.   He pointed to federal statistics that show Georgia is the No. 1 destination for out-of-state hunters — thus that the industry is doing fine without hunting over bait.   He also lamented that hunters will “stop by Wal-Mart and buy a sack of corn” instead of managing their land for the long term with white oaks and a variety of trees that will support a full web of wildlife.  Knight also argued that data from South Carolina and other states that already allow the practice show that the coyote population will increase with the easy prey of dining deer, and that deer-vehicle collisions won’t decline.

Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, added that he would not want his neighbors using bait.   He said that would lure deer away from the more difficult — but more natural — forests, fields and brooks where he prefers to practice the “art” of deer hunting.   Yet, as the House passed that bill, the Senate turned down another hunting proposition.  Only 20 senators wanted to approve ranching “alternative livestock” and selling entry to hunters. Thirty were against.  An unusual bipartisan alliance killed the bill, which would have legalized ranching and hunting several kinds of deer, antelope and sheep, plus elk and bison.  They argued that such herds might increase the likelihood of importing diseases, and they pointed out that some members of the deer and antelope families in the bill are endangered.  If the same coalition unites against hunting over bait, hunters may have to keep counting those 200 yards.

Arkansas 03/19/11 swtimes.com: by Jordan Grummer – A total of three rabid skunks, two in Greenwood and one in Huntington, have been confirmed in Sebastian County.  Dr. Susan Weinstein, Arkansas’ public health veterinarian who works all possible rabies cases in the state, said rabies only occurs in the wild in Arkansas in skunks and bats. She said this is the time of year when more cases of rabies are discovered.  “This is when skunks are moving around in their breeding season, and so they’re just out and about more,” Weinstein said.  Rabid skunks aren’t an unusual occurrence, Weinstein said.

Maine 03/18/11 villagesoup.com: by Charlotte Henderson – News reports in the Village Soup indicated two recent cases of rabies in Washington, one carried by a skunk and one by raccoon. In addition, several sheep in Union have been diagnosed with rabies necessitating humans who have been in contact with them to undergo treatment.

New Jersey 03/17/11 pressofatlanticcity.com: by Caitlin Dineen —  The Atlantic County Division of Public Health said Wednesday that a raccoon captured March 10 walking in daylight hours along Bonnie Lee Drive in Northfield tested positive for rabies. It is the second confirmed case of rabies in a raccoon in Northfield this year.  Two rabid raccoons were captured in Egg Harbor Township and one in Pleasantville already this year.  County spokeswoman Linda Gilmore said the most recent confirmed case, the fifth this year, does not amount to an outbreak of the virus.

New York 03/18/11 cbslocal.com: Rye – Rising temperatures are raising concerns in many suburban communities over the return of coyotes.  Law enforcement shared their new battle plan in the war between man and beast with CBS 2’s Lou Young on Friday.  It’s a non-lethal response to the increasingly aggressive coyotes of southern Westchester, fired from an air-compression gun.  It looks similar to a recreational paintball gun. The weapon is exactly the same. The ammunition, though, is very different.  “It’s essentially a paint ball filled with pepper,” Rye Police Commissioner William Conners said.  It’s a pepper gun that Rye police have now been issued to use on site whenever they spot a coyote.  “The animals are typically very timid around humans. They avoid human contact. What we saw last year was a change in that. And the experts tell us you need to reinforce the fact that they should be uncomfortable around humans and be afraid of them,” Conners said.  Last year saw several coyote attacks involving children and adults who came to their aid.  Neighbors are still nervous.  “It’s always in the back of our head. We’re always extra careful. We do play outside a lot and hopefully it never happens again,” resident Nina Draddy said.  Jim Horton, with Quality Pro pest control, said he expects the coyotes will be out soon.  “This is the time of year they start pairing up,” Horton told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “They’re gonna have their pups soon. So, they get a little protective of their areas.”  His advice: never turn your back, never run away, make plenty of noise, and scare the coyote. A little of that and a little of the air-compression gun should do the trick.  “It’ll definitely make them feel unwelcome. It should chase ‘em off for sure,” said Tony Galasso, owner of “Crazy Paint.”  There have been no encounters here since October.  “But they are opportunists. They will try and grab whatever they can if they think they can and they will test their boundaries,” Horton said.

New York 03/17/11 nydailynews.com: by Nicholas Hirshon – Glancing into the backyard of her Middle Village house a few weeks ago, Anne Burke cringed.  About 10 feet away stood her dog, a husky named Jesse, sniffing a black-and-white critter. Burke implored Jesse to come inside. It didn’t work.  With a rise of its fluffy tail, the skunk sprayed Jesse. It marked the second time in seven months the pooch met the noxious wrath of a creature that, until recently, was rarely spotted in Queens.  Amid a spike in such sightings – and smellings – locals are calling on the city to crack down on skunks, which can carry rabies.  “I do not want to go through this ever again,” Burke said, noting she spent hours trying to scrub the stench off Jesse. “I am absolutely scared to death.”

Neighbors who live near Burke are reporting a significant uptick in the malodorous mammals on side streets off Metropolitan Ave. between 69th St. and 73rd Place.  They suspect the skunks come from Forest Park and hide out at cemeteries and the brush near the freight railroad tracks along 70th Ave. and Otto Road.  There are debates on whether skunks are a nuisance or a welcome dash of wildlife in a concrete city.  City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) has proposed a law requiring the city Health Department to issue warnings to property owners harboring skunks, raccoons and possums.  If the owner does not respond, Crowley said, the city should remove the animals and charge the property owner. She argues the effort would be self-sustaining.

Under current law, a homeowner’s main recourse against skunks is to hire trappers. Neither the city nor state will remove a skunk unless it bites or scratches a human or pet, or if it displays neurological problems.  Surprisingly to some residents, a skunk spraying does not qualify as grounds for the critter’s removal by the city or state, even though the oily secretion can cause itchiness and temporary blindness.  “This is what we’re up against,” said Barbara Oddo, 50, of Middle Village, who griped the skunks often stink up her block. “They’re telling you they’re part of the environment. No, they’re not.”  When Burke’s pooch was first sprayed last summer, the dog kept pawing at its face. “She ran away in pain,” Burke said.  Flushing veterinarian Dr. Terri Perkins-Lewis said the secretion can be very irritating, but she dismissed Internet reports of dogs dying from the post-spray shock.

New York 03/17/11 watertowndailytimes.com: Port Leyden – A cow in the town tested positive for rabies.  The Lewis County Public Health Agency sent out a news release saying the cow had exhibited the symptoms of rabies infection and was humanely euthanized.  Five people had direct contact with the animal and have received post-exposure treatment.  The agency is encouraging Lewis County livestock owners to consider having their cattle and other livestock vaccinated. The vaccination is not required by state law.

New York 03/17/11 wktv.com: A Herkimer County family is undergoing rabies treatments after a calf on their farm was diagnosed with the disease. It happened at a farm in the Town of Manheim.  The Herkimer County Health Department says lab tests confirmed the calf did have rabies. The calf was euthanized. Additional heifers on the farm may also be infected. Right now the milking cows and horses are under observation. The family reports that the calf was attacked by a skunk. The health department warns residents to use caution around any wild animals and to make sure any domestic pets are vaccinated. This is the second confirmed case of rabies in Herkimer County this year.

Texas 03/18/11 kcbd.com: A man is recovering tonight after being attacked by a cow earlier this week in Motley County. Authorities confirm that the animal is now being tested for rabies.  A Motley county official says some local men were trying to corral the cow to give it medical treatment for an injury when the cow charged, knocking down a man, and then charged again at some other people. The animal was put down. Officials say this happened near Flomot, which is about 85 miles northeast of Lubbock.

Virginia 03/18/11 tricities.com: The Tazewell County Health Department has received confirmation that a raccoon collected March 15 from the Elizabeth Road area of the Gratton community tested positive for rabies.  It is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in the county this year. Eight animals were confirmed in 2010.  According to Brian Stanley, environmental health manager for the Cumberland Plateau Health District, the raccoon attacked a resident’s dog. The raccoon was killed and submitted for rabies testing due to the potential that the dog was exposed. There are no known human exposures, according to a news release from the health district.  “The good news in this case is the dog’s rabies vaccination is current,” said Stanley. “After the required period of observation that can be done at the owner’s home, as long as there is no sign of rabies, then the dog can be fully released back to the owner,” he said.  Any resident who may have been exposed or has pets that may have been exposed should immediately notify the Tazewell County Health Department at (276) 988-5585 or the county’s Animal Control Office at (276) 988-4160.

Virginia 03/18/11 dailypress.com: by Veronica Chufo – A raccoon found in the area of Barclay Road and Haughton Lane in Newport News tested positive for rabies, the Peninsula Health District announced.  Anyone who may have been exposed to this animal, by bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose or mouth, is asked to contact the health department at 594-7340. Exposure includes direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal. After hours, contact animal control at 595-7387.

Virginia 03/17/11 wpcva.com: The Pittsylvania County Health Department has issued a rabies alert for residents of Wet Sleeve Creek Road in Chatham.   A raccoon in the area recently tested positive for rabies, said Kelly Waller, an environmental health specialist with the health department.  For more information please contact the Pittsylvania Health Department at 432-7232, extension 260.

Canada:

New Brunswick 03/17/11 cbc.ca: A coyote was photographed in an undeveloped area between a Saint John shopping centre and housing development earlier this month.  The animal was captured in a series of frames on motion-sensor cameras set up by the Atlantic Coastal Action Program Saint John, a local environmental group.  The March 5 images show the coyote trotting through an urban marshland near McAllister Place mall and a collection of houses off Commerce Drive.  Tim Vickers, executive director of ACAP, said the area had seen a sharp decline in coyote sightings in recent years.  “This is the first one that we’ve seen in the past couple of years. Having these cameras out, we haven’t come across coyotes previous to this,” he said.  Vickers said it was a positive sign that the animal looks healthy. A mangy, disheveled creature might venture to an urban area out of desperation, he said.  “That being said, we are still obligated to let the public know just in case there are people out there that are concerned or they have concerns about their pets being out and about. Coyotes are certainly known for picking off pets in urban areas,” he said.  The images were taken as part of an ongoing project that identifies the function of wetland habitats in supporting fish and wildlife during the winter months.

Ontario 03/17/11 emcottawawest.ca: The issue has been brewing for more than a year and still the province remains silent.  Depending on one’s point of view, coyotes are a growing threat to livestock, family pets or even human life and must be controlled, or they are a valued part of a delicate ecosystem whose sudden removal would cause an imbalance that could lead to further troubles down the road. Regardless of which side of the fence one sits, there is no getting around the growing concerns over the ongoing coyote hunting contests springing up across the province. While the contest in West Carleton was one of the first, others have now taken hold in other parts of Ontario, sparking howls of protests over their legality.

The Ontario Wildlife Coalition has sparked the debate with a flurry of letters to newspapers, including the EMC, as well as provincial government ministries.   Earlier this winter, the group made its position clear with lawyer Peter Copeland stating the contests go against provisions in The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. “In our view, the offering of a prize to encourage a coyote cull is contrary to the prohibition of bounties and on hunting for the expectation of gain,” he noted.  Organizers of the second annual event in West Carleton wonder what the big deal is, noting that with participation up it’s evident farmers are doing what they can to protect their animals.

The coalition has raised concerns regarding safety but organizers contend anyone who signs up to participate must be a licensed hunter or trapper. In fact, everything being undertaken is above board with the Ministry of Natural Resources fully informed.  And this may be where the confusion and frustration lies for opponents. In spite of the repeated calls for a halt to the practice as well as natural resources minister Linda Jeffrey’s own apparent admission that she disapproves of the contests, there has been no official word, yea or nay, from Queen’s Park. An Animal Alliance of Canada spokesperson calls the situation “bizarre” how the minister won’t direct her field officers to step in. This issue seems to be black and white for those on opposing sides. It’s either the rights of the farmers to protect their property or an illegal act that must be brought to an end.  The province has to take a stand. If it is seeking out some sort of grey area, it likely won’t satisfy either side and only lead to more divisive debate for months to come.