Rabies is a scary disease. With Wyoming just having it's first confirmed rabies death I feel that it is timely to discuss this almost 100% fatal disease. It's easy in the United States to forget how deadly and devastating this disease can be. We have prevention programs in place with our pets and very few people die from this virus each year.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infections have been reported in U.S. domestic and wild birds over the past year. Avian influenza is primarily spread by direct contact between healthy birds and infected birds, and through indirect contact with contaminated equipment and materials.
I am the granddaughter of a wildlife rehabilitator. After a career in the military my grandfather, a World War II and Korean War Veteran retired from the Army and joined the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service. He soon became an integral player in the Bald Eagle Reintroduction Project in the state of Maine. To say that I am proud of my grandfather’s accomplishments is an understatement. As a kid I didn’t realize how important his job was, the coolest part about having a grandfather who rescued wildlife was that visiting my grandparents meant checking out all of the cool animals in the barn. He always had an array of birds, transiently living there until they could be returned back to the wild. He had owls, hawks, ospreys, and herons on a constant rotation. Seeing those birds up close and personal was absolutely formative to my early childhood love of animals and planted the seed that I would one day grow up to help animals for a living too. I’ve run into many people over the years, most notably a medical doctor, who sighted concepts like “survival of the fittest” as a reason to not help animals.