UNITED STATES NEWS

North America’s first known case of a rabid moose confirmed in western Alaska

Jun 13, 2023, 2:57 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A moose in western Alaska has tested positive for rabies in the first apparent case of a rabid moose in North America, state game officials said.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials began receiving reports of a moose acting aggressively toward people in the community of Teller, located about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Nome on the Bering Sea coast, on June 2.

“It was drooling and being very aggressive towards people and it was wobbly, unstable on its legs,” Kimberlee Beckmen, a Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian told the Anchorage Daily News. “That was very unusual behavior.”

After consulting with Beckmen, department staff members killed the moose because of its aggressive behavior and signs indicative of a rabies infection. The carcass was burned to prevent the virus from spreading to scavengers.

The Alaska State Virology Laboratory later detected the rabies virus in the moose’s brain, the department said in a statement.

Last week, the department said other rabid moose had been diagnosed in South Dakota, Minnesota and Canada but corrected that on Monday to say the only known cases of rabies in moose were reported in Europe. Beckmen said the other cases in North America actually were places where moose were tested for rabies but the results were negative.

The western Alaska case is the first in North America, according to national database records dating from the 1950s.

The moose had a wound from a fox bite, the likely means of transmission. The moose contracted the Arctic fox rabies variant, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That variant circulated last winter among red foxes on the Seward Peninsula and Arctic foxes on the North Slope.

Rabies outbreaks happen every year among fox populations throughout a large swath of Alaska, with outbreaks every eight to 10 years, Beckmen said.

This past winter was the largest outbreak the department had detected, including a large number of red foxes in the Nome area. Beckmen said 29% of the foxes sampled had rabies. That meant higher exposure to rabies for dogs that got into fights with foxes, Beckmen said.

The virus can affect and be fatal for humans, but the CDC says only up to three human cases are reported annually in the U.S.

Because of the rabid moose, the game department plans to test all dead wild mammals from parts of the state where rabies is generally present at a certain level among foxes, Beckmen said.

Officials also encouraged hunters and those processing game meat to wear gloves while butchering moose or other animals, washing hands thoroughly after handling game, disinfecting knives and other equipment that touches the meat and cooking game to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).

United States News

Associated Press

Police identify Michigan splash pad shooter but there’s still no word on a motive

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who opened fire at a splash pad in suburban Detroit before taking his own life, but his motives remained unknown as investigators worked to determine if he left behind any hint of his plans. Oakland County Sheriff’s spokesperson Stephen Huber said the shooter was […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

7 shot when gunfire erupts at a pop-up party in Massachusetts

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — Seven people were shot and wounded, and an eighth was hurt while running away when gunfire erupted at a large gathering of young people in Methuen, Massachusetts, authorities said Sunday. The gunfire began just before 2 a.m. after hundreds of people gathered for a pop-up party organized on social media, officials […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

An Georgia inmate used a gun to kill a prison kitchen worker before killing himself, officials say

GLENNVILLE, Ga. (AP) — An inmate used a gun to kill a kitchen worker at a Georgia prison early Sunday before fatally shooting himself, state officials said. The Georgia Department of Corrections in a statement said it’s investigating the deaths at Smith State Prison in rural southeast Georgia. The agency provided few immediate details, including […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said. The victims were shot shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday during a Juneteenth celebration at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, about 19 miles (30.5 kilometers) north of Austin. An altercation […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Wildfire north of Los Angeles spreads as authorities issue evacuation orders

GORMAN, Calif. (AP) — Authorities issued evacuation orders Saturday as a wildfire in Los Angeles County spread thousands of acres close to a major highway and threatened nearby structures, officials said. The blaze that is being called the Post Fire burned more than 3,600 acres (5.6 square miles or 14.5 square kilometers) near the Interstate […]

16 hours ago

maine-standoff...

Associated Press

Maine police kill armed man after standoff and house fires

Maine police fatally shot a man on a rooftop early Saturday after an hourslong standoff in which authorities said he opened fire at officers.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

North America’s first known case of a rabid moose confirmed in western Alaska