[Hunting Accidents,] Plague, famine and sudden death: 10 dangers of the medieval period

https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/why-did-people-die-danger-medieval-period-life-expectancy/

It was one of the most exciting, turbulent and transformative eras in history, but the Middle Ages were also fraught with danger. Historian Dr Katharine Olson reveals 10 of the biggest risks people faced…

A miniature from the Codex Justinianus

July 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm1

Plague

The plague was one of the biggest killers of the Middle Ages – it had a devastating effect on the population of Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries. Also known as the Black Death, the plague (caused by the bacterium called Yersinia pestis) was carried by fleas most often found on rats. It had arrived in Europe by 1348, and thousands died in places ranging from Italy, France and Germany to Scandinavia, England, Wales, Spain and Russia.

The deadly bubonic plague caused oozing swellings (buboes) all over the body. With the septicaemic plague, victims suffered from skin that was darkly discoloured (turning black) as a result of toxins in the bloodstream (one reason why the plague has subsequently been called the ‘Black Death’). The extremely contagious pneumonic plague could be contracted by merely sneezing or spitting, and caused victims’ lungs to fill up.

The Black Death killed between a third and half of the population of Europe. Contemporaries did not know, of course, what caused the plague or how to avoid catching it. They sought explanations for the crisis in God’s anger, human sin, and outsider/marginal groups, especially Jews. If you were infected with the bubonic plague, you had a 70–80 per cent chance of dying within the next week. In England, out of every hundred people, perhaps 35–40 could expect to die from the plague.

As a result of the plague, life expectancy in late 14th-century Florence was just under 20 years – half of what it had been in 1300. From the mid-14th-century onwards, thousands of people from all across Europe – from London and Paris to Ghent, Mainz and Siena – died. A large number of those were children, who were the most vulnerable to the disease.

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Travel

People in the medieval period faced a host of potential dangers when travelling.

A safe, clean place to sleep upon demand was difficult to find. Travellers often had to sleep out in the open – when travelling during the winter, they ran the risk of freezing to death. And while travelling in groups provided some safety, one still might be robbed or killed by strangers – or even one’s fellow travellers.

Nor were food and drink provided unless the traveller had found an inn, monastery, or other lodging. Food poisoning was a risk even then, and if you ran out of food, you had to forage, steal, or go hungry.

Medieval travellers could also be caught up in local or regional disputes or warfare, and be injured or thrown into prison. Lack of knowledge of foreign tongues could also lead to problems of interpretation.

Illness and disease could also be dangerous, and even fatal. If one became unwell on the road, there was no guarantee that decent – or indeed any – medical treatment could be received.


Listen: Elma Brenner of the Wellcome Library examines the state of healthcare in the Middle Ages and reveals some unusual remedies that were offered for people with injuries or diseases:https://embed.acast.com/historyextra/medievalmedicine


Travellers might also fall victim to accident. For example, there was a risk of drowning when crossing rivers – even the Holy Roman emperor, Frederick I, drowned in 1190 when crossing the Saleph river during the Third Crusade. Accidents might also happen upon arrival: in Rome during the 1450 jubilee, disaster struck when some 200 people in the huge crowd crossing the great bridge of Sant’ Angelo tumbled over the edge and drowned.

While it was faster to travel by sea than land, stepping onto a boat presented substantial risks: a storm could spell disaster, or navigation could go awry, and the medieval wooden ships used were not always equal to the challenges of the sea. However, by the later Middle Ages, sea travel was becoming faster and safer than ever before.

An average traveller in the medieval period could expect to cover 15–25 miles a day on foot or 20–30 on a horse, while sailing ships might make 75–125 miles a day.
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Famine

Famine was a very real danger for medieval men and women. Faced with dwindling food supplies due to bad weather and poor harvests, people starved or barely survived on meagre rations like bark, berries and inferior corn and wheat damaged by mildew.

Those eating so little suffered malnutrition, and were therefore very vulnerable to disease. If they didn’t starve to death, they often died as a result of the epidemics that followed famine. Illnesses like tuberculosis, sweating sickness, smallpox, dysentery, typhoid, influenza, mumps and gastrointestinal infections could and did kill.

The Great Famine of the early 14th century was particularly bad: climate change led to much colder than average temperatures in Europe from c1300 – the ‘Little Ice Age’. In the seven years between 1315 and 1322, western Europe witnessed incredibly heavy rainfall, for up to 150 days at a time.

Farmers struggled to plant, grow and harvest crops. What meagre crops did grow were often mildewed, and/or terribly expensive. The main food staple, bread, was in peril as a result. This also came at the same time as brutally cold winter weather.

At least 10 per cent – perhaps close to 15 per cent – of people in England died during this period.
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Childbirth

Today, with the benefits of ultrasound scans, epidurals and fetal monitoring, the risk for mother and baby during pregnancy and childbirth is at an all-time low. However, during the medieval period, giving birth was incredibly perilous.

Breech presentations of the baby during labour often proved fatal for both mother and child. Labour could go on for several days, and some women eventually died of exhaustion. While Caesarean sections were known, they were unusual other than when the mother of the baby was already dead or dying, and they were not necessarily successful.

Midwives, rather than trained doctors, usually attended pregnant women. They helped the mother-to-be during labour and, if needed, were able to perform emergency baptisms on babies in danger of dying. Most had received no formal training, but relied on practical experience gleaned from years of delivering babies.

New mothers might survive the labour, but could die from various postnatal infections and complications. Equipment was very basic, and manual intervention was common. Status was no barrier to these problems – even Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIII, died soon after giving birth to the future Edward VI in 1537.
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Infancy and childhood

Infancy was particularly dangerous during the Middle Ages – mortality was terribly high. Based on surviving written records alone, scholars have estimated that 20–30 per cent of children under seven died, but the actual figure is almost certainly higher.

Infants and children under seven were particularly vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition, diseases, and various infections. They might die due to smallpox, whooping cough, accidents, measles, tuberculosis, influenza, bowel or stomach infections, and much more. The majority of those struck down by the plague were also children. Nor, with chronic malnutrition, did the breast milk of medieval mothers carry the same immunity and other benefits of breast milk today.

Being born into a family of wealth or status did not guarantee a long life either. We know that in ducal families in England between 1330 and 1479, for example, one third of children died before the age of five.
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Bad weather

The vast majority of the medieval population was rural rather than urban, and the weather was of the utmost importance for those who worked or otherwise depended on the land. But as well as jeopardising livelihoods, bad weather could kill.

Consistently poor weather could lead to problems sowing and growing crops, and ultimately the failure of the harvest. If summers were wet and cold, the grain crop could be destroyed. This was a major problem, as cereal grains were the main food source for most of the population.

With less of this on hand, various problems would occur, including grain shortages, people eating inferior grain, and inflation, which resulted in hunger, starvation, disease, and higher death rates.

This was especially the case from the 14th through to the 16th centuries, when the ice pack grew. By 1550, there had been an expansion of glaciers worldwide. This meant people faced the devastating effects of weather that was both colder and wetter.

Medieval men and women were therefore eager to ensure that weather conditions stayed favourable. In Europe, there were rituals for ploughing, sowing seeds, and the harvesting of crops, as well as special prayers, charms, services, and processions to ensure good weather and the fertility of the fields. Certain saints were thought to protect against the frost (St Servais), have power over the wind (St Clement) or the rain and droughts (St Elias/Elijah) and generally the power of the saints and the Virgin Mary were believed to protect against storms and lightning.

People also believed the weather was not merely a natural occurrence. Bad weather could be caused by the behaviour of wicked people, like murder, sin, incest, or family quarrels. It could also be linked to witches and sorcerers, who were thought to control the weather and destroy crops. They could, according to one infamous treatise on witches – the Malleus Maleficarum, published in 1486 – fly in the air and conjure storms (including hailstorms and tempests), raise winds and cause lightning that could kill people and animals.7

Violence

Whether as witnesses, victims or perpetrators, people from the highest ranks of society to the lowest experienced violence as an omnipresent danger in daily life.

Medieval violence took many forms. Street violence and brawls in taverns were not uncommon. Vassals might also revolt against their lords. Likewise, urban unrest also led to uprisings – for example, the lengthy rebellion of peasants in Flanders of 1323–28, or the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 in England.

Medieval records demonstrate the presence of other types of violence also: rape, assault and murder were not uncommon, nor was accidental homicide. One example is the case of Maud Fras, who was hit on the head and killed by a large stone accidentally dropped on her head at Montgomery Castle in Wales in 1288.

Blood feuds between families that extended over generations were very much evident. So was what we know today as domestic violence. Local or regional disputes over land, money or other issues could also lead to bloodshed, as could the exercise of justice. Innocence or guilt in trials were at times decided by combat ordeals (duels to the death). In medieval Wales, political or dynastic rivals might be blinded, killed or castrated by Welsh noblemen to consolidate their positions.

Killing and other acts of violence in warfare were also omnipresent, from smaller regional wars to larger-scale crusades from the end of the 11th century, fought by many countries at once. Death tolls in battle could be high: the deadliest clash of the Wars of the Roses, the battle of Towton (1461), claimed between 9,000 and 30,000 lives, according to contemporary reports.

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Heresy

It could also be dangerous to disagree. People who held theological or religious opinions that were believed to go against the teachings of the Christian church were seen as heretics in medieval Christian Europe. These groups included Jews, Muslims and medieval Christians whose beliefs were considered to be unorthodox, like the Cathars.

Kings, missionaries, crusaders, merchants and others – especially from the late 11th century – sought to ensure the victory of Christendom in the Mediterranean world. The First Crusade (1096–99) aimed to capture Jerusalem – and finally did so in 1099. Yet the city was soon lost, and further crusades had to be launched in a bid to regain it.

Jews and Muslims also suffered persecution, expulsion and death in Christian Europe. In England, anti-Semitism resulted in massacres of Jews in York and London in the late 12th century, and Edward I banished all Jews from England in 1290 – they were only permitted to return in the mid-1600s.

From the eighth century, efforts were also made to retake Iberia from Muslim rule, but it was not until 1492 that the entire peninsula was recaptured. This was part of an attempt in Spain to establish a united, single Christian faith and suppress heresy, which involved setting up the Spanish Inquisition in 1478. As a result, the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, and Muslims were only allowed to stay if they converted to Christianity.

Holy wars were also waged on Christians who were widely considered to be heretics. The Albigensian Crusade was directed at the Cathars (based chiefly in southern France) from 1209–29 – and massacres and more inquisitions and executions followed in the later 13th and 14th centuries.9

Hunting

Hunting was an important pastime for medieval royalty and the aristocracy, and skill in the sport was greatly admired. The emperor Charlemagne was recorded as greatly enjoying hunting in the early ninth century, and in England William the Conqueror sought to establish royal forests where he could indulge in his love of the hunt. But hunting was not without risks.

Hunters could easily be injured or killed by accidents. They might fall from their horse, be pierced by an arrow, be mauled by the horns of stags or tusks of boars, or attacked by bears.

Status certainly did not guarantee safety. Many examples exist of kings and nobles who met tragic ends as a result of hunting. The Byzantine emperor Basil I died in 886 after apparently having his belt impaled on the horns of a stag and being dragged more than 15 miles before being freed.

In 1100, King William II (William Rufus) was famously killed by an arrow in a supposed hunting accident in the New Forest. Likewise, in 1143, King Fulk of Jerusalem died in a hunting accident at Acre, when his horse stumbled and his head was crushed by his saddle.

Early or sudden death

Sudden or premature death was common in the medieval period. Most people died young, but death rates could vary based on factors like status, wealth, location (higher death rates are seen in urban settlements), and possibly gender. Adults died from various causes, including plague, tuberculosis, malnutrition, famine, warfare, sweating sickness and infections.

Wealth did not guarantee a long life. Surprisingly, well-fed monks did not necessarily live as long as some peasants. Peasants in the English manor of Halesowen might hope to reach the age of 50, but by contrast poor tenants in same manor could hope to live only about 40 years. Those of even lower status (cottagers) could live a mere 30 years.

By the second half of the 14th century, peasants there were living five to seven years longer than in the previous 50 years. However, the average life expectancy for ducal families in England between 1330 and 1479 generally was only 24 years for men and 33 for women. In Florence, laypeople in the late 1420s could expect to live only 28.5 years (men) and 29.5 years (women).

Dying a ‘good’ death was very important to medieval people, and was the subject of many books. People often worried about ‘sudden death’ (whether in battle, from natural causes, by execution, or an accident) and what would happen to those who died without time to prepare and receive the last rites. Written charms, for example, were thought to provide protection against sudden death – whether against death in battle, poison, lightning, fire, water, fever or other dangers.

Gallatin County communities rally around cat found suffering from possible trapping

https://www.kxlf.com/news/local-news/gallatin-county-communities-rally-around-cat-found-suffering-from-possible-trapping

Vet says “Trapper” may have to lose both legs
Posted: 7:21 PM, Nov 27, 2019
Updated: 1:24 PM, Nov 28, 2019

A cat caught in a man-made trap in Gallatin County is bringing out the best of the community.

“When animals are left to their own devices, you never know what they are going to get themselves into,” says Dr. Holly Cruger, DVM at Foothills Veterinary Hospital.

It all started with the little guy, found on a back porch off of Thorpe Road near Belgrade, dragging his back legs.

“He came in, he had some pretty open wounds that looked like he was tied up or trapped on his back legs, which is where I think we got the name, Trapper,” Dr. Cruger says. “Tiny Tails has taken on this case to do everything we can to make sure that he’s got the best chance he can have.”

A Gallatin County Animal Control officer took the cat to Foothill Veterinary Hospital in Bozeman, where he spent the night.

“One of the infections was so deep, I did not think that it would even have the chance to heal,” Dr. Cruger says.

And that surgery? Already, the cat has had to lose one of his legs.

“He’s in better shape today than he was yesterday,” says Diana Stafford, director and founder of Tiny Tails K-9 Rescue in Manhattan.

Stafford and her volunteers are working to help build Trapper’s road to recovery.

“We try to do our best to make sure that our community animals get health care when they need health care,” Stafford says.

Diana’s group is made up of all volunteers, working to foot Trapper’s medical bill.

But the community, well, the cat’s story reached them quickly, raising around $1,500 in a single day.

“Our community is amazing,” Stafford says. “We do a lot of crying. All of our volunteers do. There’s only so much we can do.”

The veterinarian watching over Trapper says he has a difficult road ahead and could lose his other rear leg.

Yet, Stafford, Dr. Cruger and the community are rooting for him.

“If you see an animal in need, please, please tell someone,” Dr. Cruger says.

“Everybody loves an underdog and this little guy, this little cat is right now an underdog,” Stafford says.

Tiny Tails is already planning a series of fundraisers to help animals like Trapper with their own financial needs.

You can find a full schedule and list of upcoming events on their website.

Dogs caught in traps meant for wildlife spurs workshop

JACKSON, Wyo. — Multiple incidents of domestic dogs inadvertently caught in leghold traps intended for wildlife has local advocacy group Wyoming Untrapped warning dog owners and scheduling another informative Trap Release Workshop for this weekend.

Last week, a friend was walking Natalie Tanaka’s dog Roswell up Darby Canyon. They came upon a fox that was caught in a trap. While investigating, Roswell also became ensnared in another trap nearby. Roswell was so panicked he bit his human, who could not get the trap released. A sheriff’s deputy was called and he could not get the dog loose by himself until backup arrived.

Some 45 minutes later, Roswell was freed and pronounced mostly unharmed by a local vet. Just some soft tissue damage. Roswell’s human friend is undergoing antibiotic treatment for the dog bites.

“I appreciate the assistance of all of those who helped. I’m thankful my pup will be okay,” Tanaka told Wyoming Untrapped. “I understand rural life. However, I don’t believe in the inhumane treatment of animals. Traps are nasty, excruciatingly painful, and slow. The tortured animal has to be in pain for days before humans are legally required to go see what’s in the trap. We can do better than this barbaric practice.”

The trap was set legally.

In the days following Roswell’s close call, two more dogs in eastern Idaho were caught in leg snares in Tetonia and Victor.

Lisa Rob, director of Wyoming Untrapped, said, “Due to several pet trapping events in just a week, WU has received several requests to host another Trap Release Workshop.”

The workshop will take place Saturday, November 23, from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Teton County Library in Jackson. Carter Niemeyer, retired Fish and Wildlife Director of the wolf recovery, will direct the workshop and share his experiences. He will demonstrate how to release an animal from a variety of traps.

A Kirksville Church Hosting Blessing Of The Hunt To Better Equip Hunters

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Blessing of the Hunt is a free daylong event where hunters can come and get all they need for hunting.

By: JANAY REECE

(Kirksville, MO) – Hunting is a big part of the culture in northeast Missouri and a local church is letting hunters know they are supported by having a blessing of the hunt.

Blessing of the Hunt is a free daylong event where hunters can come and get all they need for hunting.

Cornerstone Church oversees the event and invited hunting vendors, The Missouri Department of Conservation and speakers to address regulations and safety.

Organizers say the reason they have this event is to not only bless the hunters, but equip them with the tools they need to stay safe while hunting.

“Because there’s always some tragic accident that takes place during hunting season whether it be through a firearms accident or deer stand or whatever it maybe. So we wanted to get hunter together to pray for them and encourage them that hunting can continue to be a way that we can enjoy God’s creation and enjoying harvesting deer and turkey,” said Pastor Jeremy Broach of Cornerstone Church.

Broach adds they got the idea from a group of churches in Mississippi who did a similar blessing of the hunt.

The Blessing of the Hunt will be at the NEMO Fairgrounds from 3:00pm until 9:00pm Thursday November 14th.

Prizes will be given away almost every hour including a brand new Landmaster UTV.

Features speakers include Patrick Paysinger from Outdoor dream foundation and world turkey calling champion Mitchell Johnston.

You can find more details about Blessing of the Hunt click here.

More on: Suspected rhino poacher is killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in South Africa

(CNN)Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park, South African National Parks said.

The incident happened after the man entered the park Monday with four others to target rhinos, according to a parks service statement.
An elephant “suddenly” attacked the alleged poacher, killing him, and “his accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road so that passersby could find it in the morning. They then vanished from the Park,” police said.
His family were notified of his death late Tuesday by his fellow poachers, and a search party set out to recover the body. Rangers scoured on foot and police flew over the area, but because of failing light it could not be found.
The search resumed Thursday morning and, with the help of added field rangers, police discovered what was left of his body.
Police say they arrested three men and seized guns following the alleged poacher's death.

“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants,” the statement said.
Glenn Phillips, the managing executive of Kruger National Park, extended his condolences to the man’s family.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” he warned. “It is very sad to see the daughters of the deceased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”
Three individuals who joined the illegal hunt were arrested Wednesday by the South African Police Service, and officers continue to investigate what happened.
The suspects appeared in Komatipoort Magistrate Court on Friday to face charges of possessing firearms and ammunition without a license, conspiracy to poach and trespassing. A judge remanded them to custody and they will be back in court this week, pending a formal bail application.
The African rhino is targeted for its horn because of the belief among some who practice Eastern medicine that the horn has benefits as an aphrodisiac, making it more valuable than cocaine in parts of the world.
Lions left only the poacher's skull and a pair of his pants, officials say.

Of special concern is the black rhino, which is considered critically endangered after its population tumbled from about 65,000 to 1970 to 2,400 in 1995, according to Kruger National Park. Conservation efforts have boosted their numbers, and the world’s remaining 5,000 or so black rhinos live predominantly in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
In 2016, there were between 349 and 465 black rhinos living at Kruger and between 6,600 and 7,800 white rhinos, who also suffer from poaching, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs said.
Kruger is considered an intensive protection zone, and the government employs a range of resources to deter poaching, including aircraft, dogs, special rangers and an environmental crime investigation unit.
Of the 680 poaching and trafficking arrests made in 2016 by the South African Police Service, 417 were in and around Kruger, the department said. In September, the department announced that six men — including two syndicate leaders, two police officers and a former police officer — had been arrested for trafficking in rhino horns.

Killed by conibear traps: Province urged to require warning signs be posted to prevent further deaths

Citizen whose dog was killed in Port Elgin comes forward following Dundalk dog’s death

NEWS Jan 07, 2019 by Chris Halliday  Orangeville Banner
https://www.orangeville.com/news-story/9113631-killed-by-conibear-traps-province-urged-to-require-warning-signs-be-posted-to-prevent-further-deaths/
ConibearTrap

Within the last two years, both Winston (top left) and Bella (bottom) have been killed after getting caught in conibear traps. Bella’s owner, Paul Wildeboer, wants the province to require trappers post mandatory signage near where they have placed or set these traps. – Photos by Paul Wildeboar and Jackson Sister’s Photography

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is investigating after Dundalk resident Cheryl Ireland’s dog Winston was killed by a trap located in a field near Mill Street and Braemore Street. This photo of Ireland with her dog before the birth of her newborn, was taken in the field where the dog died on Thursday (Nov. 15). – Jackson Sister’s Photography

Conibear

Here is a picture of the conibear trap that killed Paul Wildeboer’s dog on a golf course in Port Elgin in November of 2017.

Conibear1

Here is an example of how conibear traps can be placed or set on the ground using a marshmallow as bait. – Courtesy of Paul Wildeboer

ConibearBella

Paul Wildeboer and his wife, Judy, are seen with their shepherd cross Bella, who was killed by a conibear trap set on a golf course in Port Elgin in November of 2017. – Courtesy of Paul Wildeboer

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As a ministry investigation into the death of a Dundalk dog killed by a conibear trap continues, a man whose dog suffered a similar fate wants the province to better safeguard people and their pets from these “body-gripping” traps.

“It should be mandatory (for trappers) to post warning signs. For example, ‘Danger, do not enter. Animal control in progress,’” said Paul Wildeboer, whose 70-pound shepherd cross was killed by a conibear trap on a golf course in Port Elgin back in November 2017.

“They not only pose a danger to animals but people and rescuers as well,” he added. “For convenient placement and pick up these traps are generally set near walking trails, snowmobile trails and paths where families, children and hikers are known to walk.”

In the early afternoon of Nov. 15, Dundalk resident Cheryl Ireland’s mother, Elaine, and her friend were walking her dog, Winston, in a large field behind their home near Mill and Braemore streets.

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  • ‘Nothing will bring him back’: Ministry investigating after conibear trap kills dog in Dundalk

Suddenly, they heard a loud yelp and discovered Winston had been caught in a conibear trap. The dog, a Great Dane, bullmastiff and husky mix, died shortly afterwards.

“They did everything they could to try and keep him alive. (My mom) got some neighbours to try and help, but by the time they went out there, it was too late. He was gone,” Ireland said following the incident, noting a smaller trap was also discovered nearby.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski reports the investigation into Winston’s death is ongoing. She said the MNRF recently reached out to the public for any information that could help the case.

“The MNRF has been here twice since (Nov. 16) but still haven’t really got anywhere. We do know who it is and (the investigator) has been to his house,” Ireland told The Banner.

“Nothing has come from it that I know of,” she explained. “(The investigator) will be going to pay him another visit soon as far as I know.”

Baker City man killed when hunting rifle accidentally discharged

The accident happened at a home in Unity, Oregon.

BAKER CITY, Ore. — A Baker City man has died following a hunting accident, according to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened Tuesday at around 6 p.m. at a home in Unity, Oregon.

Deputies say they found the victim, George Sherman Van Cleave, next to a pickup in a driveway.

The sheriff’s office says another man, Richard Toubeaux, was securing a rifle in the pickup after the parties returned from a hunting trip.

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The rifle discharged and hit Van Cleave.

Toubeaux is not charged. The sheriff’s office calls the incident a “tragic accident.”

Dog loses leg after caught in trap, prompting renewed calls to ban trapping

WARNING: Some pictures in this story are graphic.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a hotly debated topic in New Mexico: whether or not to ban animal trapping. Now, a local rescue group is pushing for the ban after a lost pup barely escaped with his life.

When Argos Animal Rescue first found Kekoa, they didn’t think he would make it through the night. Now, after a miraculous recovery, he’s acting as their poster pup for change.

“Kekoa means warrior in Hawaiian,” said Kim Domina, Argos Dog Rescue founder. “Strength of a warrior and I think that’s what Kekoa is.”

A warrior who survived days with his leg caught in a steel trap.

“Officer Rico said that he was definitely caught in a leg-hold trap of some kind,” Domina explained. “And that he probably was there for a couple days.”

On November 27, Argos Animal Rescue and K-9 Rehab got a call about the horrific conditions Valencia County Animal Control found Kekoa in.

“He tried to chew his own leg off. He does have pretty horrific injuries,” Domina said. “He had bite wounds all over his entire body. We ended up having to amputate his leg because it was fractured.”

Tracie Dulniak with the K-9 Rehab Institute says this type of injury is becoming more and more common.

“We get a lot of these dogs that are coming in from other counties and other states that have been severely abused or injured through traps,” Dulniak said.

This leaves the injured dogs with emotional, physical and mental scars, a concern that Trap Free New Mexico says should be addressed.

“We shouldn’t have to rely on New Mexican’s dogs stuck in traps until we abolish the practice,” said Christopher Smith, advocate for Trap Free New Mexico.

It is a practice that state legislators have tried to ban before, but has remained legal.

Current laws say a trap must be 25 feet or more from a trail and checked every day. The only possible changes coming to the law, at this point, is that Game and Fish is considering increasing the setback requirement to 50 feet.

“Minor tweaks to the regulations aren’t going to keep people safe,” Smith said. “It’s not going to keep many pets safe but also, it’s not going to keep our native wildlife safe.”

Kekoa’s medical bills have exceeded $3,000. Argos Rescue and K-9 Rehab are now asking for help with those bills and boarding and are searching for a skilled foster parent to care for him because no one has claimed him.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the New Mexico Trappers Association for comment, but did not hear back.

More cases reported of dogs caught in traps at Island Lake State Park in Brighton

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More people have come forward about their dogs being caught in traps at Island Lake State Recreation Area in Green Oak Township.

Green Oak Township resident Mark Timney reported an incident to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources involving his female German short hair pointerdog being caught in a trap there on Oct. 25. His dog was not on a leash, he said.

“When I reported it to the DNR hotline, the officer informed me that yet another dog discovered (but was not caught in) the trap earlier that morning. So it appears this is not a one-off incident. That area of the park is used daily by many people who train their dogs off the leash,” Timney said.

Timney also provided a photo of the trap, located about 50 feet outside of the Spring Hill mining operation near McCabe Road, which shows a chain-linked and clamp-like mechanism.

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Dogs caught in traps at Island Lake park in Brighton

“Fortunately, I was able to release her,” Timney said.

He said he came back two days after the incident and the trap was gone.

“I’ve been walking my dog there for years and never encountered a trap,” said Timney, who said he continues to take his dog to the park.

The Green Oak Township Fire Department was called to an incident on Oct. 18 to get a trap open to release a dog caught in it, the department confirmed on Tuesday.

Brighton resident Jamie Tobbe said her dogs got caught in a trap in the park on Oct. 29 and although they were not hurt, were frightened after the incident.

RELATED: Dogs caught in traps at Island Lake state park

Andrew Haapala, unit manager of Island Lake State Recreation Area, could not be reached for comment.

At the time of the incident involving Tobbe’s dogs, Haapala said the traps were put there legally and that trapping is legal on state-owned land.

In order to place a trap on state land, it must be marked with the name of the trapper and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources identification number.

More on: Man Dies from Extremely Rare Disease After Eating Squirrel Brains

Man Dies from Extremely Rare Disease After Eating Squirrel Brains

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A man in New York developed an extremely rare and fatal brain disorder after he ate squirrel brains, according to a new report of the man’s case.

In 2015, the 61-year-old man was brought to a hospital in Rochester, New York, after experiencing a decline in his thinking abilities and losing touch with reality, the report said. The man had also lost the ability to walk on his own.

An MRI of the man’s head revealed a striking finding: The brain scan looked similar to those seen in people with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a fatal brain condition caused by infectious proteins called prions. Only a few hundred cases of vCJD have ever been reported, and most were tied to consumption of contaminated beef in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and 1990s. (In cows, vCJD is commonly called “mad cow disease.”)

But in this case, the man had another dietary habit that could have raised his risk for vCJD: His family said he liked to hunt, and it was reported that he had eaten squirrel brains, said Dr. Tara Chen, a medical resident at Rochester Regional Health and lead author of the report. It’s unclear if the man consumed the entire squirrel brain or just squirrel meat that was contaminated with parts of squirrel brain, Chen said. [27 Oddest Medical Cases]

Chen didn’t treat the patient, but she uncovered the case while writing a report on suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease cases seen at her hospital in the last five years.

The report was presented on Oct. 4 at IDWeek, a meeting of several organizations focused on infectious diseases.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects only about 1 in a million people each year worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It’s a “debilitating disease” that progresses quickly and usually results in death within one year of diagnosis, Chen told Live Science. There is no treatment or cure.

The disease results from prion proteins that fold abnormally, leading to lesions in the brain.

There are three forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD): one that is inherited, one that comes from exposure to infected tissue from the brain or nervous system (this form includes vCJD), and one type that is “sporadic” and does not appear to have a genetic or environmental cause.

The sporadic type is the most common, responsible for 85 percent of cases, according to the NIH.

Because CJD is so rare, doctors at Rochester Regional Health were surprised when four suspected cases of the disease occurred at the hospital within a six-month period, from November of 2017 to April of 2018. That number is higher than expected based on the population of the Rochester area, which has about 1 million people, said study co-author Dr. John Hanna, also a medical resident at Rochester Regional Health.

This high number of suspected CJD cases prompted Chen, Hanna and colleagues to conduct a review of suspected CJD cases occurring at their hospital from 2013 to 2018. (Five cases were identified, but two of those five ultimately tested negative for CJD.)

That’s when the doctors came across the case tied to squirrel brains. Tests indicated that this was a “probable” case of vCJD because of the MRI finding and a test that showed specific proteins in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid, which often indicate the disease.

However, CJD can be confirmed only with a test of brain tissue on autopsy at death. Although the patient passed away after his diagnosis, Chen and colleagues are working to obtain access to his medical records to see if CJD was confirmed at autopsy. If so, such a confirmation would be highly unusual; only four confirmed cases of vCJD have ever been reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The review of the five cases revealed a concerning finding: Diagnosis of the condition was often delayed; in one case, about two weeks passed before doctors suspected that a patient had CJD. In that case, the patient, a 65-year-old woman, had undergone plasmapheresis, a blood-filtering procedure, and a gynecological surgery before her diagnosis.

Quick diagnosis of CJD is important, because infectious prions could contaminate equipment used on patients with the disease, and this might transmit the condition to others if the equipment is not properly cleaned.

Diagnosis may be delayed, in part, because CJD is rare and is not “on the tip of the physician’s mind” when assessing a patient, Hanna told Live Science. In addition, once doctors suspect CJD and order a cerebrospinal fluid test, it typically takes around two weeks to get the test results.

The report highlights the need for doctors to keep CJD diagnosis in mind and for hospitals to have “policies for infection control when it comes to CJD,” Hanna said.

Originally published on Live Science.