Alaska Bear Cub Euthanized After Testing Optimistic For Hen Flu

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A black bear cub in southeast Alaska was euthanized after it turned unwell with avian influenza, the Alaska Division of Fish and Recreation mentioned.

It’s believed that the cub, which was positioned in Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay Nationwide Park and Protect west of Juneau, is the second bear recognized with the extremely pathogenic fowl flu, the Juneau Empire reported.

A black bear cub (not the one that became ill with avian influenza) in British Columbia.

A black bear cub (not the one which turned unwell with avian influenza) in British Columbia.
Paul Oomen by way of Getty Pictures

Hen flu “passes actually simply to poultry, however mammals aren’t actually prone to it,” mentioned Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, a wildlife veterinarian for the division. “It’s tough to get, however we suspect the cub in all probability ate a fowl that died from avian influenza.”

The bear probably turned unwell as a result of it was a small, younger animal with a weak immune system, she mentioned.

Because the virus was first detected in an grownup feminine black bear in Canada in June, Alaska state officers have examined scavenging animals for it. Up to now, it’s solely been present in two different animals, each pink foxes in Dutch Harbor and the western Alaska neighborhood of Unalakleet.

Discovering fowl flu within the bear and foxes shouldn’t be a sign it’s prone to unfold to different animals or to individuals, Beckmen mentioned.

“This specific pressure, individuals are just about proof against it,” she mentioned.

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned this pressure of fowl flu poses a “very low” danger to people, and just one particular person within the U.S. has been recognized on this outbreak.

Nevertheless, the flu has hammered the state’s wild fowl inhabitants.

Folks in Glacier Bay final month seen that the cub, certainly one of three accompanying a sow, had issue strolling, in accordance with state wildlife officers.

The sow deserted the cub and a biologist picked it up. Nevertheless, it started struggling seizures, as did the Canadian bear beforehand recognized with the sickness. The Alaska bear was euthanized by a state biologist. Later testing confirmed the presence of the virus that causes extremely pathogenic avian influenza.

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