Angeles National Forest, Animals, bungee cord, California, campground closed, camping, danger, disease carrying animals, Health, Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County California, microscopic germ, nocturnal animals, offbeat, plague, plague squirrel, raccoons, Rodent, Squirrel, squirrel burrows, squirrel plague, squirrels, table mountain campground, wild animals, Wildlife
Diatribe: A Squirrel With The Plague.
Something’s been getting into our trash cans at night. We’ve lived in our house for twelve years and the same two trash cans have been stored in the exact some spot all along. Nothing has ever bothered them and now, suddenly, they’ve become popular with nocturnal animals visitors. Evidence at the crime scene indicates that the culprit is probably a raccoon. I’ve also seen footprints that appear to have been left by a dog. Perhaps they’re working together, to get the lid off the can and spread its contents about in the driveway.
The implementation of strategically placed bungee cords seems to have eliminated the problem for now but I’m certain that the culprit is still lurking about. It seems to me that the mysterious critter is, basically, harmless.
The same cannot be said of at least one squirrel in California. The squirrel, trapped July 16 in the Table Mountain Campgrounds of Angeles National Forest, has tested positive for plague.
“Plague is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, which is why we close affected campgrounds and recreational areas as a precaution while preventive measures are taken to control the flea population.” – L.A. County health officer Dr. Jonathan Fielding
Plague is caused by a microscopic germ that was blamed for wiping out sixty percent of the European population between 1348 and 1420. It is now quite rare, with an average of seven human cases per year in the United States. It’s also curable with antibiotics. But, if left untreated, it can cause serious illness or even death.
The California campground has been closed while investigators test other squirrels and dust the area for plague-infected fleas. Health officials are urging everyone in the area to avoid contact with wild animals, steer clear of squirrel burrows and report any dead squirrels to the department of health.
I’m reasonably certain that the varmint (or varmints) messing with my trash cans is not a squirrel because the squirrels in my yard are far too busy making a mess on our deck and damaging our bird feeders by knocking them to the ground. Even still, I think they’re too cute and entertaining to run off.
I’d change my mind if I knew they were killer squirrels.
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