A snowshoe hare has tested positive for Tularemia in Fairbanks.
The sick animal was found by member of the public and brought it to a local vet, where it was dead upon arrival.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is warning of the seasonal disease, which is transferred by direct contact and ticks. Pets and people can also get tularemia, and die if not promptly treated with antibiotics.
Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberly Beckman reports numerous calls about sick hares, which appear lethargic and unafraid.
“I just turned on my computer and now there’s a report of sick hares down in Delta Junction,” Beckman said. “What surprises me is that we haven’t had any reports of sick dogs or cats with tularemia because that usually starts quite soon after we get the reports of sick hares.”
Dr. Beckman cautions people to use gloves if they come in contact with diseased hares, notify Fish and Game and dispose of the animal in a sealed plastic bag.
She advises getting in for treatment quickly if you, or your animals, display signs of sickness, which include a high fever and flu like symptoms.