By Josh Copitch
BUTTE VALLEY, California (KSBW) — California wildlife experts recently confirmed that an adult bobcat died from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1, marking the first detection of the virus in a wild mammal in the state. The bobcat’s remains were collected in Butte County and tested for the disease. It was wearing a GPS collar as part of a study by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The HPAI H5N1 virus was first detected in wild birds in California last year and has since been found in birds from 44 counties and domestic birds from 18 counties. Waterfowl and domestic poultry are especially vulnerable to the disease.
Although the Centers for Disease Control considers the risk of transmission to people to be low, they recommend basic protective measures if contact with wildlife cannot be avoided. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife advises against handling or housing sick wildlife and encourages people to report dead wildlife using their mortality reporting form.
The Wildlife Health Laboratory will continue to monitor wildlife and investigate mortality events. To stay informed about the situation, please visit the CDFW website or contact your local CDFW Regional Office or animal control service.
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