July 21, 2018

Maine Gov. “Invasive Species” Portal Evidently Intended to Keep Environmentalists and Animal Righters Happy

The State of Maine has evidently developed, or is developing, a website portal geared at addressing concerns over invasive species. It appears there is concern about invasive fish and marine wildlife, along with invasive plants, diseases and parasites that might effect plants including agricultural crops, but there appears to be something missing from this portal. Where is the section about invasive animals? Surely there are invasive animals that pose just as a big a threat to Maine’s ecosystems than odd fish and the spreading of some plants.

If I were to pick just one invasive wild animal that is very destructive to Maine, I would have to pick the coyote. It’s easy for most, including employees at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), to address only the obvious about coyotes, i.e. killing deer, lynx, livestock, turkeys, grouse, etc. but it is exceptionally inconvenient to discuss the more than 30 diseases and parasites the mixed breed canine spreads throughout the state.

We already know, and the MDIFW has done a superb job of covering up the disease, that moose are now victims of what the department prefers to call “lungworm.” Lungworm is a common man’s term for Hytadid disease from the parasite Echinococcus granulosus. The diseases cause the growth of tumors in the lungs, liver, heart, and other places hindering the moose from having the best physical conditioning to escape predator danger. Because moose are known to be infected, it’s only a matter of time before deer will become so and any and all other wildlife ungulates and livestock, including sheep, cows, and pigs.

The Echinococcus granulosus (E.g.) parasite is carried and spread by coyotes, along with as many, if not more, than thirty other diseases. Oh, and did I mention that E.g. can be deadly to humans?

As populations of coyotes persist and grow across Maine, livestock, pets, and humans will be at risk from these diseases.

But we mustn’t talk about this because we are talking about an animal that some mentally ill people prefer to protect and perpetuate than insure the health of our people and the health and proper management of our wildlife and ecosystems in general.

However, consider the following information. It was brought to my attention a short time ago when a colleague asked how any species can be invasive. The answer was more or less simple. The species must come from outside of the Firmament, i.e. the earth, and the “waters above” and the “waters below.”

Man evidently has made the decision that starting at some random point in history, species that existed and where they were found would be how things must be kept. Odd and ironic that environmentalists love their wolves and other wild canines. They love to tell people how that millions of years ago “it is believed” that wolves/coyotes came to North America over that infamous “ice bright” somewhere around the Bering Straits. Beginning at that time, and moving forward, evidently everything else might be an invasive species. It would seem to me that if the wolf/coyote migrated here over an “ice bridge” during a period of “global cooling” (was that NOT a natural event?) then it was either an invasive species or there are no such things as invasive species.

Evidently an invasive species is some kind of plant or animal life that upsets the environmental narrative. If it’s on this “planet” how can it be invasive? And who left which man to be in charge of deciding at what point of time in history a line is drawn and any movement of plant or animal after that point is considered invasive and therefore not wanted. It would appear that using this same kind of thinking, or lack there of, that a strong argument could be made that the United States of America corporation is made up almost entirely by “invasive species” of humans.

The hypocrisy in all this is that the environmentalists want to control everything about our environment and ecosystems, but only to the point of which they want it. All else is wrong. Management of wildlife as a resource for food and products (hunting, fishing and trapping) evidently is unacceptable manipulation but playing gODs and deciding what stays and what goes is alright.

Doesn’t make much sense at all, but H.L. Menken, reminded us, that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

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Maine Moose Study: All Dead Moose Had Echinococcus Cysts in Lungs

According to a report filed in the Bangor Daily News by outdoor writer George Smith, information not yet officially made public (and I have to wonder if all of the information will be made public) about Maine’s ongoing moose study, while extremely disturbing that the study is showing a terrible moose calf survival rate, it is also showing the presence of Echinococcus granulosus (E.g.) cysts infesting the lungs of all dead moose that were necropsied. “Field necropsies were performed within 48 hours on all moose mortalities. Weights were taken, tick loads were counted, and tissue samples collected for later analysis in the lab. All moose had some level of lung pathology attributed to infestation of adult lungworms (Dictyocaulus spp.) and/or Echinococcus cysts.”

Moose are an intermediate host of the Echinococcus parasite. The definitive hosts are wild canines – more than likely in the case of Maine the species of coyote/wolf cross-bred wild dog, which is also a substantial predator of moose calves and deer.

On February 20, 2013, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) released a presser confirming the presence of E.g. in moose from information gathered from moose testing done by the University of Maine and the MDIFW. At that time, I contacted the commissioner of the MDIFW to get confirmation that the pathological term that biologists chose to use, lungworm, was, in fact, the Echinococcus granulosus worm.

I had also discovered that MDIFW posted information about their discovery on their website. After reading it, I did not think the information given was accurate and did not honestly express concerns in dealing with this infection nor the precautions that should be taken, especially anyone that can come in contact with the spore-like worm that can be deadly to humans.

The response, at that time, that I received back from the commissioner was that they were satisfied with the information they had published and had no intention of amending any of it. However, shortly after my conversations with the commissioner, the web page was taken down and to my knowledge cannot be found.

I do not know how many moose were tested then and what the percentage of moose were infected but the latest information indicates that all dead moose, adult and calf, from this study were infected.

How does this effect the moose’s ability to  survive? E.g. cysts can form in the lung, liver, brain and at some level, in other organs of the animal. Generally, the presence of the cysts is not directly fatal to the moose. Cysts growing in the lungs can seriously affect the breathing capacity of a moose, hindering its ability to escape the threat of predators. Studies have proven that.

Cysts can rupture causing all kinds of complications, even death due to anaphylactic shock.

There is the need for serious concern of humans contracting the worm. I will provide links below where readers can find tons of information about E.g. In the meantime, here’s a brief rundown of the threat to humans from E.g.

The wild canine, which often times can carry and spread up to 50 different diseases, viruses and parasites, is the definitive host of the parasite E.g. Their scat will contain hundreds, maybe even thousands, of tiny spore-like parasites that can actually become airborne. When wild ungulates, such as deer and moose, as well as domestic cattle, pigs and horses, graze near coyote/wolf scat, they risk ingesting some of these parasites. Infection of the disease and the growth of cysts occurs.

The threat to humans comes mostly from people with free-ranging dogs. Dogs will eat scat and roll in it. They return home with the tiny parasites, pretty much invisible to the human eye, and spread the parasites everywhere they go. Consider then your child playing with, being licked by, your dog, or the animal sleeping on furniture or in bed with adults and/or children. Of course there are other ways of becoming infected but almost all come through ingestion of the small spores – usually not intentionally. The spores can survive for long periods of time in water. Drinking water from a brook could be hazardous to your health. Now that we know Maine has this disease, extra precautions need to be taken.

In humans, the disease is called Hydatid disease and is near impossible to diagnose, has few symptoms and removal of cysts extremely problematic. As I have already mentioned, these cysts can rupture, most often leading to death.

Mostly because of lack of education, as is shown in the article that I have linked to above, any discussion of the presence of E.g. is casual and heavily avoided. It shouldn’t be. Yes, the disease has been around for a long time and has different forms, some more dangerous than others but it does exist and can be a real threat to humans.

Why are we now seeing this parasitic disease? More than likely due to the increased populations of coyotes and wolves – wolves in particular because they tend to travel farther and faster than coyotes, offering the opportunity to more rapidly and thoroughly spreading the worms.

For more information about the disease itself, follow this link. Follow this link for information about the disease and how it can effect humans and the threat that exists. This information was provided to me by qualified individuals. If readers would like more specific information, please leave requests in the comment section or email me directly.

Here’s an example showing the life cycle of the parasite.

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It Continues: Eating Wolf Scat and Howling at the Moon

WolfScatIn 2010 it was considered by most as absolutely atrocious that wildlife officials would tell citizens that in order to contract Echinococcus granulosis, you had to eat wolf excrement. As ridiculous as that sounds, the same utter nonsense continues to be perpetuated.

“But veterinarians point out that other critters are host to the parasite, too. It’s been around for a long time. A human would essentially have to eat the poop of an infected animal to contract the parasite.”

“If you’re worried about wolf diseases, wear latex gloves while cleaning game, wash your hands – and don’t eat poop.”<<<Read More>>>

One has to wonder that had it been stated that Ebola was transmitted to humans via the wolf, if so many would be as eager to protect the wolf over the human?

It seems that in any discussion about wolves, too much emphasis is placed on either or of both extremes. A reader here at this website pointed out last evening that issues of Echinococcus granulosis isn’t about scare tactics and fear mongering. It’s about gaining the accurate knowledge in order that any person can properly use the best tactics, for their own circumstances, to reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Why is that so difficult to do and met with such resistance?

I think there are many things at play here that drives human actions, non of which are for the benefit of the human being; only the wolf.

For those of us who have spent a considerable amount of time studying this issue, what has changed doesn’t seem to be taken into consideration. It’s easy to fall back on making a statement that E.g. has been around for a long time. And it has, but what has changed is, the United States Lower 48 states now have wolves numbering in the thousands. The human population has grown. There are more domestic canine pets than ever at any time in history and testing and studies are now confirming the existence of the more virulent strains of E.g., previously only found in remote northern climates. How that strain got here is mostly immaterial, except to discover whether or not it did happen through wolf introduction using wolves from Canada, to insure it wouldn’t happen again in a similar instance. Learning of the dangers and how to avoid them is responsible.

It isn’t about scaring people. It’s about discovering truth, not denying or covering it up.

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Molecular Characterization of Echinococcus granulosus Cysts in North Indian Patients: Identification of G1, G3, G5 and G6 Genotypes

“Cystic echinococcosis (CE) caused by the Echinococcus granulosus, is a major public health problem worldwide, including India. The different genotypes of E. granulosus responsible for human hydatidosis have been reported from endemic areas throughout the world. However, the genetic characterization of E. granulosus infecting the human population in India is lacking. The aim of study was to ascertain the genotype(s) of the parasite responsible for human hydatidosis in North India.”<<<Read More>>>

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WHO Describes Echinococcosis as “Considerable Public Health Problem”

WHO*Note* – It has been through the difficult and persistent hard work of Scott Rockholm in his research that he found and has shared, “WHO/OIE Manual on Echinococcosis in Humans and Animals: a Public Health Problem of Global Concern.” For this all of us are grateful.

Even though, as is described in this “Manual” that human Echinococcosis(Hydatidosis) has been around since nearly forever, it wasn’t until the introduction of wolves into the Greater Yellowstone Area that some humans became aware of the fact that these wolves and other canines, wild and domestic, can be carriers of untold numbers of diseases and parasites, including the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus.

When it was discovered in 2009 that over 60% of wolves tested in the Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct Population Segment of gray wolves were infected with the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus, for many of us seeking truth, we wanted to know the whats, whys and wherefores of this parasite and how it would affect humans. For others, seemingly those whose bent is to protect the wolves that carry and spread this disease, any discussion of the topic usually resulted in the passing on of bad and irresponsible information and a playing down of the seriousness of this disease.

For those readers perhaps not familiar with this website, I have collected much information and studies on this disease and have really only scratched the surface. This information can be found through a link in the top menu bar of the home page. Click this link for more information.

Below is a portion of the “Preface” of the World Health Organization’s Manual. This disease is important enough to WHO and to the World Organization for Animal Health that even the title describes it as a “Public Health Problem of Global Concern.”

This “Manual” relates information about the disease, much of it in areas away from the United States, but the concern grows in this country as more and more wolves disburse throughout other areas of the country increasing the threat of the spread of infectious diseases and harmful parasites. Please bear in mind that over the past near 100 years there have been insignificant populations of wild wolves in America and thus the threat of the spread of E.g, from wolves, has been minimal, but grows as the number of wolves grows. Places around the globe that have always had wolves have dealt with human Echinococcusis for centuries. Because the United States has not, I suppose this has been reason for many, including the professionals we are told will protect us and those that are in charge of overseeing the management of wild canines, such as the wolf, to downplay the real and serious threat of human hydatidosis.

As is pointed out in this report, this threat is not something that should be downplayed as irresponsibly as it has been to date here in the United States. Education should be the first step in understanding how to effectively deal with this disease. For those interested, a copy of this report can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

“The second edition of the WHO Guidelines for Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Echinococcosis/Hydatidosis, published in 1984, was focused on diagnostic methods and control measures available to combat this disease in humans and animals. These guidelines were very well received throughout the world and represented a valuable source of information for medical and Veterinary Services of many countries. Since then the understanding of the epidemiology of echinococcosis has been greatly improved, new diagnostic techniques for both humans and animals have been developed, progress has been made in the treatment of human echinococcosis, and new prevention strategies have emerged with the development of a vaccine against Echinococcus granulosus in intermediate hosts.

In spite of significant progress achieved in the field of research and control, human cystic echinococcosis, caused by Echinococcus granulosus, remains a considerable public health problem in many regions of the world. Ultrasound surveys of populations at risk have shown that cystic echinococcosis is more prevalent than previously anticipated in many endemic regions. To date, disease transmission has been reduced or interrupted in some limited areas only, especially on islands, such as Cyprus, New Zealand and Tasmania. In continental situations, however, E. granulosus control is more difficult, often less effective, is costly and requires sustained efforts over many decades.

Recent studies in Europe, Asia (i.e. People’s Republic of China and Japan) and North America have shown that E. multilocularis, the causative agent of human alveolar echinococcosis, is more widely distributed in the northern hemisphere than previously understood. Alveolar echinococcosis, althrough rare, represents a considerable public health burden as the infection is lethal in most untreated patients and treatment is very costly. In addition, in Central and South America, cases of polycystic echinococcosis in humans, caused by E. vogeli and E. oligarthrus, occur in apparently increasing numbers.”

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Concern Over Disease on Domestic Elk Ranches

It amazes me the depth of ignorance and the breadth of bad information that easily become emotionally intoxicating talking points when discussing animals and disease and the role of government. Anyone who has read my work understands I have little good regard for government but I have less regard for environmental, non governmental groups that love to play god, while forcing some to play by different rules than others.

In a recent opinion piece found in the Idaho Statesman, “GUEST OPINION CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE Idaho is just not doing right by its wildlife,” by John Caywood, all this is brought to the surface.

Several years ago I worked with the Idaho Elk Breeders to help educate and get the word out about that industry and to thwart the efforts of some, led mostly by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and special interest groups, to shut down the domestic elk industry because of trumped up charges of irresponsible ranchers and the threat of spreading disease. It appears some of the same players are back at it again using emotional clap trap to push their agendas in a misaligned direction.

Please understand that those claiming there is a threat about the spread of disease wrongly are telling people that the threat comes from domestic elk spreading disease from the source of the ranch out into the rest of the world. How ignorantly absurd and flat out wrong!

Domestic elk ranches in Idaho have never had one reported case of chronic wasting disease, as seems to be the biggest concern of the letter writer, and from the many elk ranchers I have met and communicated with over the years, they tell me they fear that their animals will contract diseases from infected wildlife, of which the Idaho Department of Fish and Game seems to be deaf and dumb about.

An honest look into the history of chronic wasting disease will show that it just doesn’t appear on a ranch out of the blue. The State of Idaho has restrictions on the importation of livestock from states where disease is in existence. The actual threat that exists in this case is that the government-cared-for wildlife will infect a domestic cervid industry that has for years proven themselves to be responsible, dedicated and disease free. It’s absurd to think elk behind fences are threatening the wild deer, elk and moose of the state of Idaho.

But if we look at who’s making the noise over this change in regulations, it’s the same players as always. The writer evokes the virtues of the Idaho Sportsman’s Caucus Advisory Council (ISCAC), which historically has been a mish-mish of different people with a gripe claiming the several thousands of members on their side that don’t really exist. In addition, ISCAC has always been the mouthpiece for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and, once again, historically IDFG has opposed every aspect of the Idaho elk ranching industry, especially the hunting ranches.

The domestic elk industry in Idaho has an immense task on their hands keeping their livestock protected from the diseases present in the wild ungulate and other wildlife populations. Chronic wasting disease has been in Idaho for several years unknown by most and it didn’t get there from the elk ranchers inventing the disease but was imported into the state via carcasses of wild game.

If there is so much concern about disease in wild game animals coming from the elk industry, consider a few simple facts. One, elk ranchers are not interested in allowing disease into their businesses. Why would they? It’s their livelihood. There is no reason they and the Department of Agriculture would reduce the amount of disease testing, if it would threaten the elk industry. Two, they have proven that they run a clean ship, not because they have been testing every elk killed for disease for the past 15 plus years but because they have done everything right to protect their livestock from the disease on the outside of the fences in addition to following the import regulations. In short, they know what needs to be done. Third, wolves are known carries of well over 30 diseases, many of them harmful to humans as well as livestock. It is a known fact that at least 2/3rds of all wild wolves in Idaho contain the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm that can be fatal to humans and create Hydatid cysts in the organs of elk. There is at least one well-documented case of human hydatidosis in Idaho. Wolves also spread Neospora caninum, which can cause abortions and neonatal mortality in livestock. All of this spread from outside the elk ranches.

And with all of this, IDFG still denies that there is any risk of disease from wolves and continue to place their hypocritical focus on the elk industry.

Maybe it’s time that the State of Idaho is required to test every one of their wild animals before being allowed to get near an elk ranch.

Tom Remington
Largo, Florida and Bethel, Maine

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Veterinarian Warns of “The Wolf Tapeworm”

Powell veterinarian warns of problems that may be spread by wolves

A nasty tapeworm found in Alaskan wolves has turned up in Park County and has infected multiple elk and four dogs, according to a Powell veterinarian.

State and federal officials say the risk of infecting humans is low, but veterinarian Ray Acker, who owns and operates Big Horn Animal Care Center in Powell, said it behooves hunters and dog owners to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from the parasite.

Echinococcosis granulosus (E. granulosus) can infect and kill humans, but there have been no reported cases of human fatalities in Wyoming.

Acker said he fears it is only a matter of time before the tapeworm’s cysts invade humans and potentially kill them.

E. granulosus tapeworm can infect all carnivores, but wolves and other canines are the primary host. “You could call it the wolf tapeworm,” Acker said.<<<Read More>>>

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Minnesota Found E.G. in Moose in 1971 Knew Then Recruitment Non Sustainable

Image3290I must commend our good friend and ever vigilante researcher, Will Graves, for digging up a report containing data and other information from a report filed after the conclusion of a Minnesota moose hunt in 1971. It was reported that this moose hunt was the first allowed in 49 years in that state. The full report can be found at this link.

I suppose the first thing to note is the simple fact Echinococcus granulosus was found in the lungs of moose. As is a terrific way for biologists to collect data, mandatory check-ins by hunters provided opportunity for biologists to retrieve samples for testing. In addition to the taking of samples at the check stations, hunters were required to reveal the location of their moose kills in order that scientists could visit the site and retrieve more information from gut piles.

Over the past 6 or 8 years, there has been much discussion, at least in certain corners of the country, about the fact that wild canines, specifically being discussed are wolves, are the host species of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Tiny eggs embedded in and deposited all over the landscape through wolf scat, presents a situation in which wild ungulates, such as deer, elk and moose, while grazing, ingest these eggs. As part of the cycle, hydatid cysts can form in organs throughout the body. Perhaps the most common being the lungs, but also found in the liver, heart and brain. This is what was found in Minnesota.

Humans can also ingest these eggs, the result of which could be fatal. Hydatid cysts in humans is difficult, at best to detect, and perhaps even more so to treat. The greatest threat of humans contracting this disease is probably through contact with the domestic dogs, particularly those that live indoor and outdoor. While outdoors, family dogs can eat infected carrion and/or get the eggs onto their fur and in and around the mouths. Family dogs can be part of the cycle and if not properly de-wormed, can pose a very serious threat to members of the family who live with the dog. Imagine what is happening to you or your child, in the home, when the dog licks your hand or your child’s face.

The point of all this is to state that when some of us, being led by Will Graves, researcher and author of Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages and co-author of The Real Wolf, along with George Dovel, editor of the Outdoorsman, Dr. Valerius Geist, professor emeritus University of Calgary, Dr. Delane Kritsky, noted parasitologist at Idaho State University, et. al., took to cyberspace and beyond to get the message out about Echinococcus granulosus, we were all told it didn’t exist and any talk of threats to humans was exaggerated and nothing to be concern with.

And now we discover that biologists in Minnesota over 40 years ago had discovered the presence of E.g. in moose in Minnesota. However, there is much more to this report that Will Graves has unearthed for us.

The moose hunt in Minnesota in 1971 took place in two regions of the state. (Please see map in linked-to report.) The two zones were separated by perhaps 100 miles. One zone located in and identified in the report as the Northeast and one zone in the Northwest. It is here stated that Echinocossus granulosus was “common in the northeast” and not so much in the northwest.

Fascioloides magna was the parasite in the northwest, while Taenia spp. and Echinococcus granulosus were common in the northeast.

I also find it interesting that with today’s prevalence of denial of the presence or risk of threat from Echinococcus granulosus, that biologists in 1971 were, along with other parasites, looking for Echinococcus granulosus. If it was something not of interest, why were they looking for it? Do you suppose over 40 years ago, scientists suspected, with the presence of wolves, moose might be infected?

Field crews investigated as many kill sites as possible. Lungs were examined for the presence of Hydatid cysts (Echinococcus granulosus) and lungworms (Dictyocaulus app.).

The biologists at the time where making the same examinations and taking the same samples from moose harvested in both the Northwest and Northeast hunting zones. What they found when comparing data between the two zones is tell-tale.

The Northeast zone, “carried larger loads of Echinococcus granulosus.” As a matter of fact, a considerably larger load. In the Northeast zone it was found that 60% of the moose carried Echinococcus granulosus. In the Northwest zone, only 10%. There must be an explanation.

The incidence of E. granulosus and Taenia spp. in the northeast is evidence of a higher timber wolf (Canis lupus) population in this part of the state.

43 years ago, wildlife biologists in Minnesota were willing to acknowledge that the higher the concentrations of wolves produced a higher incidence of Echinococcus granulosus in moose. It’s remarkable in a way, when we consider the deliberate roadblocks being constructed by some to prohibit any serious discussions and the educating of the public about this issue of Echinococcus granulosus and the potential threat it can have on humans.

But this isn’t all.

Most of us know that Minnesota is claiming that they don’t have understanding as to why the moose herd in that state is on a serious decline. Some want to blame it all on climate change, the collect-all excuse for everything these days, and a convenient means of covering up incompetence and political agendas. While the distractions and excuses continue to mount, it is my belief that officials in Minnesota pretty much have a distinct reasons and the proof of the beginnings of what has become, or soon will be, a predator pit and an unsustainable moose herd.

This report of 1971 clearly tells anybody interested in truth and facts that in the Northeast zone, where wolves were highly prevalent, the moose recruitment rate stood at such low levels, it would be only a matter of time before the moose would be gone.

Data from the aerial census and classification counts indicate a net productivity of 30-35% in the northwest and 9-15% in the northeast. This indicates a difference is occurring in the survival rate of calves in their first six months of life between the two areas. Area differences in nutrition, predation and parasitism may be responsible for these observed differences in net productivity.

If memory serves me correctly, in 1971 the United States was at the beginning stages of the fake “global cooling” flim-flam, but there was no talk and presentation of excuses as to how a planet, that was going to crumble and crack into millions of pieces due to cold, was responsible for a moose calf recruitment rate in Northeast Minnesota that anyone knew to be unsustainable.

With the environmentalists, which include the ignorant predator protectors and animal rights totalitarians, who want to create what they are attempting to coin as a “new understanding and a paradigm shift” about wolves and other predators, no longer to them are facts, history, real science or common sense anything worth considering. And that is the bottom line truth of what we are dealing with.

Tried and proven wildlife management, even the very basics, tells us that if there is not a high enough survival rate among the new born of any creature, to replace all other mortality, the species will not survive, at least in any sense of healthfulness. Instead, hidden behind other agendas, people want to replace this with “new understandings” and “shifting paradigms.”

Searching for “new understandings and paradigms” Minnesota is looking everywhere for the answer that stares them in the face. Wolves spread disease and devastate games herds and all wildlife and yet the “new understanding” is trying to tell us about trophic cascades and how the wolf creates nirvana.

Oh my God! We’ve actually come to this?

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Hydatid Cysts in Elk and Unexplained Worms

The information for this article came to me from various sources of emails. In an email sent to Idaho for Wildlife, pictures of hydatid cysts infecting a recently harvested elk and a brief story are shared.

“Greeting Steve, my name is XXXXX XXXXX[Feb. 3, 2014 – name was removed per request of the person.]. I live in Cascade, Idaho. I saw the flyer on the hytadid elk disease on a flyer at a store in Donnelly, Idaho.

The attached pics are from a cow elk my wife shot last week a few miles north of Donnelly in Valley County. Lesions look the same. The entire elk was infested with tiny white worms. Every part of it. They were entirely thoughout all the meat. If you look in the pics closely the worms are kinda straight but wiggly shaped. I had a IDFG Officer inspect it. He got on the phone with the biologists at headquarters in Caldwell and they requested a sample and condemned the elk. They requested I bury it which I did. I looked over your groups website and thought I should forward this to you. Call me if you would like to discuss.”

XXXXX XXXXXX[Feb. 3, 2014, Name was removed per request of the person.]

All photos can be enlarged to full size for more precise viewing. Just click on the image and then click again on the following page.

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The following is information sent to me by Lynn Stuter pertaining to the photos above.

“Like many of you, I received the following e-mail,

The attached pics are from a cow elk my wife shot last week a few miles north of Donnelly in Valley County. Lesions look the same. The entire elk was infested with tiny white worms. Every part of it. They were entirely thoughout all the meat. If you look in the pics closely the worms are kinda straight but wiggly shaped. I had a IDFG Officer inspect it. He got on the phone with the biologists at headquarters in Caldwell and they requested a sample and condemned the elk. They requested I bury it which I did. I looked over your groups website and thought I should forward this to you. Call me if you would like to discuss.

For those who don’t have ready access to a map, Donnelly is a ways south of McCall in Idaho. In looking at the attached pictures, at least some of the cysts, in the lungs, appear to be Hydatid cysts, ungulates being the intermediate host to the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm.

I sent the pictures to Dr Valerius Geist. In part he responded, “please spread the word to open suspicious cysts, cut it with your knife, to expose the hydatid sand.” The “Hydatid sand” Dr Geist speaks of is the tapeworm heads that look like sand in the fluid that exists inside the cyst. If the cyst is full of tapeworm heads, you know the animal had Hydatid.

While some may fear contracting Hydatid by doing this, know that the tapeworm heads must be ingested by a canine (wolf, coyote, dog) to become adult tapeworms capable of producing eggs. The tapeworm heads are not a threat to humans, only the eggs of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm that causes Hydatid are a threat to humans. If ingested by a human, the eggs hatch in the intestines, burrow through the intestinal wall, enter the vascular system, and usually travel to the liver or lungs, where Hydatid cysts are formed.

Of course, if gutting an infected animal at the residence, be sure to secure and remove the guts (offal) so the family dog does not get into them, ingest the tapeworm heads, and become infected with the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm, thereby spreading the eggs in its feces around and in the home, eggs that are a threat to humans and especially to small children who play in the grass and on the floor in the home.

The worms in the meat of this elk would not be Echinococcus granulosus as the tapeworm heads, found in the Hydatid cyst, must be ingested by a canine (wolf, coyote, dog) to develop into mature tapeworms. If a cyst is ruptured, inside the host animal, the result is most often anaphylactic shock followed by death. This is also true with humans. There is always an exception to the rule, however. If a cyst is ruptured, and the host does not go into anaphylactic shock and die, the tapeworm heads do not infect the meat and become mature tapeworms; the tapeworm heads that survive form new cysts inside the host.

What the worms are, in the meat of this elk, is yet to be determined.”

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Human Hydatid Disease

*Editor’s Note* – This article first appeared in the Bethel Citizen.

Open Air
With Tom Remington

Human Hydatid Disease

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) had issued a warning to Maine residents on their website about moose lungworm, as they called it. Unfortunately the information was incomplete and misleading. I have urged the department to do further research in order that better information be made available to educate the public. As of this writing, it appears that information has been removed from the website. The reason is unknown to me.

The result of a three-year study by MDIFW, in conjunction with the University of Maine, has revealed the presence of hydatid cysts in moose at locations in Aroostook County. It is not irresponsible to conclude that if cysts were found there, if not present in deer and moose throughout the entire state now, they soon will be.

The issue of human hydatid disease is complex, however I would like to talk only of the greatest threat to humans in contracting this disease.

Incorrectly, MDIFW, stated that hunters and trappers should wear rubber gloves and be cautious when handling game. While perhaps good advice for any hunter or trapper, this is not where the real threat comes from. It comes from people’s free-roaming dogs and outdoor people who come in contact with worm infested feces of wild canines, i.e. wolves, coyotes, foxes, etc.

Wild canines are the primary host of the tiny worm called echinococcus granulosus. Tiny spores from infected canines can be found in their feces. Should any of these spores be ingested by humans, they run the risk of contracting a disease that is very difficult to diagnose, presents few symptoms and may not show up for several years.

Wild canines leave their “calling card” in very conspicuous places, including often in your front yard. If your dog is allowed to be outside unattended, as dogs naturally tend to do, they eat and/or roll in such feces. If they do this, those tiny spores are now on and around the dogs mouth and/or embedded into the fur, if they have chosen to roll in it.

Use your imagination now as to what can and does happen when your pet reenters the house, especially with children around – licking faces, rolling on floors, sleeping on furniture and beds, depositing tiny eggs where they go waiting for a human to unintentionally ingest them (swallow or inhale into lungs).

In the outdoors, humans stepping in and/or choosing to “examine” the content of canine feces, are running the risk of making airborne the tiny spores and ingesting them. These eggs are viable in water and tremendous temperature ranges.

Hydatid cysts in humans can form in lungs, liver and brain. A rupture of a cyst inside a human body can be fatal.

The most important thing is to learn the truth about this disease in order that we all can do as much as we can to reduce the chances of contracting the disease. If you live in places known to have infected wild canines, do not allow your dogs to run free and then come into the house. If you insist that they run free, for your own protection provide accommodations for your dog to remain outside. Make sure your dog is properly vaccinated. Remember, a vaccination for your pet will help prevent them from becoming sick from the worms but as I described above, them eating and rolling and bringing the eggs inside with them is not affected by their vaccine.

In the wild, do not tamper with wild feces and refrain from drinking from unknown water sources.

Always thoroughly wash hands.

For more information about this disease, please visit my website www.tomremington.com and click on the “wildlife diseases” link near the top of the page.

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