December 4, 2022

Is Crawling Into a Disease-Infested Wolf Den Responsible?

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The Spokesman Review has an article about how Idaho biologists are monitoring and studying about wolves. One biologist tells of being small enough to slide into a wolf den in order to examine and tag wolf pups. The report provides three photographs, I assume taken at the scene of some of the wolf dens and during examination of the pups, in which the female biologist has no devices, including mask on face and rubber gloves, to protect her from contracting disease. The ingestion of tiny Echinococcus granulosus eggs that probably are in mass numbers inside the den, can give a person hydatidosis – the growth of Hydatid cysts in organs in the human body that can be fatal.

We know that at least 60% of all wolves tested in Idaho have this dangerous tapeworm. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game even has an entire page about Echinococcus granulosus but evidently they don’t believe anything they have written about this disease if they are allowing this person to enter a wolf den(s) unprotected.

I wonder if the young biologist has any understanding of the potential danger she and others in her party are in?