(02/22/2001)
By Bob Weaver

Little Creek hunter and trapper Harold Stutler, in an effort to help determine the spread of the rabies outbreak into this area, recently provided five raccoon heads for testing. None proved positive for rabies, DNR biologist J. R. Hill in Parkersburg told Conservation Officer Tom Fox the cause of death was distemper.

Concerns for rabies in this area increased a couple weeks ago after a fox tested positive for the disease. The animal was killed near the Calhoun-Wirt line after it acted strangely. Well tender Ron Gherke and local resident Tim Carpenter climbed on a gas separator to get away from the fox, after which it was shot by Carpenter.

Most West Virginia counties (SEE map in earlier Hur Herald story) have been declared part of the rabies outbreak, which has been slowly moving for several years from West to North to South in the state.

Conservation Officer Tom Fox said he has received numerous calls about sick raccoons, but none had been in direct contact with humans or domestic animals and were not tested.


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