Animal Death From EEE Confirmed At Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo
Officials at Binder Park Zoo have confirmed that the death of one of their Mexican gray wolf pups was the result of the mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis. A second potentially deadly case of one of their animals is still being investigated
WWMT reports that this is considered the first confirmed animal case of EEE in Calhoun County. Zoo officials say the wolf pup died earlier this month. A second wolf pup in the same litter died the following day, but Binder Park Zoo said the animal was previously diagnosed with a different health problem, likely not related to EEE.
Zoo officials said the remaining surviving wolf pups in the litter, as well as both parents appear to be in good health. But they told WWMT that they are closely monitoring the animals.
"Although EEE infection in canines is very, very rare, there have been a few cases previously reported in domestic dog puppies. All species considered highly susceptible to EEE infection at the zoo, including domestic and non-domestic equine species and ostriches, are vaccinated on a yearly basis." Dr. Kim Thompson, staff veterinarian at Binder Park Zoo, in a news release to WWMT
Last week, the first human case of EEE in Calhoun County was reported. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories confirmed that an adult resident had tested positive for EEE. Several cases have now been confirmed in residents of Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren counties, including three deaths.
It has led to sweeping changes for outdoor activities for schools and organizations, as the weather has not cooled down enough to kill off mosquitoes yet this fall.