I’m sorry that I’m running behind on the blog this week. Thursday was occupied by a big project that I’ll start discussing in a post later on Sunday.
I’ve mentioned before that nature and conservation are important to me. Sometimes, my profession and my passion for conservation overlap. The article I’m linking is an example of that intersection. It’s a sad occurrence.
Canine distemper virus, which can infect not only dogs but animals like raccoons and foxes, has spread into a massive area in Russia. The virus has been responsible for the death of several Siberian (Amur) tigers, which are a highly endangered species. Apparently, the tigers have come into contact with the virus in part by hunting and killing domestic dogs. This is the result of encroachment on the tiger’s habitat by human settlement.
This cross-species infection is another example of the adaptability and easily altered behavior of some viruses. The canine distemper vaccine may pose a danger to these tigers if it were given, and there’s no vaccine designed for cats of any kind to protect against canine distemper. It’s a tough dilemma in deciding how to protect these rare and valuable tigers.