Black-footed ferret pursuing prairie dog. Image courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Montana 07/20/16 fastcoexist.com: by Adele Peters – For the endangered black-footed ferret—an adorable if vicious predator that lives in prairies—one of the biggest threats to survival is the bubonic plague, which is wiping out their prey: prairie dogs. To help, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to start using drones to spray candy-sized snacks, filled with plague vaccine, across prairie dog colonies. Without the prairie dogs, the ferrets can’t survive; the dogs are both a food source and a source of a burrow . . . The location, the UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana, is an ideal test site. It’s remote and far from air traffic, so drones wouldn’t interfere with planes. If it works, the technique might eventually be used in some of the other 27 sites where ferrets have been reintroduced. – For complete article and photos see http://www.fastcoexist.com/3061955/wildlife-officials-want-to-use-drones-to-shoot-peanut-butter-snacks-at-prairie-dogs
Alberta 07/19/16 http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/: by Colleen Schmidt – RCMP and emergency crews were called out to a bear attack near the Trapper’s Hill Campground west of Calgary on Tuesday afternoon. Police received a call about a bear complaint at about 12:00 p.m. Tuesday and dispatched members to the scene to investigate. A woman and her boyfriend were having a picnic down by Ghost River and witnesses say they came face-to-face with a grizzly and her cubs. Coleman Blair’s father owns a campground in the area and he was driving when he saw the couple being chased by the bear through the river. Blair rushed in to help and says by that time the bear had the woman’s arm in its mouth but he was able to pry its teeth open.
He says the bear could have done more damage to her if it wanted to and that he believes it was warning her. “If the bear wanted to do some damage, I mean they’d both be dead. It was, in bear talk, more of a warning, a gentle warning, a bite like that, it wasn’t serious in that kind of regard but yeah they got a warning and it happens quick, that’s what people need to understand, it’s not, you don’t have time to get your bear spray out or take your time, it happens right now, they’re already on top of you, they’re fast,” he said. The woman was taken to hospital and is in stable condition. The investigation has been turned over to Fish and Wildlife and they have closed Township Road 270 and are moving campers out of the affected area. – For video see http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/woman-injured-in-bear-attack-west-of-calgary-1.2993337
North Dakota 07/20/16 http://bismarcktribune.com/news: by Blair Emerson – A school-age child in northeast North Dakota has been infected by hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare, but potentially fatal disease, spread by infected rodent droppings, urine and saliva, the state Health Department reported Wednesday. The child, who was hospitalized, was in contact with rodent-infested buildings, according to a news release. “This case serves as a reminder for people to be mindful of the presence or evidence of rodents when cleaning a house, barn or other building, especially in rural areas,” said Jill Baber, epidemiologist with the Health Department’s division of Disease Control. “It is important to avoid actions that raise dust, such as sweeping or vacuuming, if signs of rodents are present.” There have only been 15 cases of hantavirus in the state since 1993, seven of which were fatal. Nationally, as of Jan. 6, about 690 cases have been reported and 36 percent of these cases resulted in death. – See http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/health/school-age-child-infected-with-hantavirus/article_ebc39e4a-3939-5ad7-a54a-35f55da2b677.html
Tularemia aka Rabbit Fever:
Colorado 07/18/16/ krdo.com/news/: by Chris Loveless – Rabbit fever has again been confirmed in Pueblo County. A rabbit that was collected from the Hatchet Ranch area in the southwestern part of the county has tested positive for Tularemia. “Pueblo residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may be present in some of the mammals – especially rabbits, rodents and hares, and on the ground where these animals may be active,” said Vicki Carlton, program manager in the Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness division at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. “Although there are no human cases of tularemia identified in Pueblo so far this year, Colorado has experienced human tularemia cases in people who have been exposed to contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria,” she said. – For complete article see http://www.krdo.com/news/Pueblo-County-rabbit-tests-positive-for-Tularemia/40732732
New York 07/20/16 niagara-gazette.com/news: A cat that attacked a woman and her dog on July 13 on Demler Drive in Wheatfield has tested positive for rabies, according to the Niagara County Health Department. The woman, who sustained multiple bites and scratches, is undergoing treatment to prevent rabies infection. That treatment includes post-exposure treatment of immune globulin injection at the site of the bite along with a series of four rabies vaccine injections in the arm muscle (deltoid) over a 14-day period. The cat was humanely euthanized. Anyone who may have had contact with the white, grey and black cat on or before July 13 is being asked to call the Niagara County Department of Health Environmental Division at 439-7444. – See http://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/cat-that-attacked-woman-in-wheatfield-had-rabies/article_e20f1eb4-4e0f-11e6-8c31-5bba39688a84.html
Texas 07/15/16 .ksla.com: The Animal Control Officer in DeKalb has issued an alert advising residents to have pets vaccinated for rabies after a woman was bitten by a cat on her own property and the cat has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.ksla.com/story/32457796/etx-city-on-alert-for-rabies-after-woman-bitten-by-cat-gets-infected