Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, July 20, 1999
Bears immigrating into West Texas
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, July 20, 1999 -- Black bears like the one in Maxey Park Zoo are
naturally shy and will avoid contact with humans if they can, said Jim
Allen, Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden for Reeves and surrounding
Allen attended a black bear seminar in Alpine this spring, where he
learned that the animal is quite a traveler.
"The black bear seemed to be migrating into Texas from Mexico," Allen
said. "They are quite a nomadic animal. A lot has to do with finding foods
in the desert."
A nomadic black bear climbed a utility pole near Pecos to escape his
captors about four years ago and was electrocuted just a few months after
another bear was struck and killed by a car on Interstate 10, near the
"In the past couple of years, there's been a definite increase in black
bear in Texas," Allen said. "They keep to themselves, but if there is a
camphouse on a ranch where food or garbage is left out, they will come
in and feed on that."
Preferring vegetation such as fruit and roots, the bear will eat small
animals, but they don't attack livestock, Allen said. If a carcass is left
in the pasture a few days, a bear will feed on that.
"They are like any other wild animal. They will run from humans, but
if cornered, they will get on the defensive," Allen said.
If a person spots a black bear, he should notify the game warden, but
leave the bear alone, Allen said.
"He is just passing through. Don't try to corner it or trap it or catch
the animal. And it is illegal to shoot it," he said.
Mountain lions also pass through this part of Texas on their walkabouts,
and they may prey on livestock. If they do, anyone who has a general hunting
license may shoot them.
"The mountain lion is a non-game animal," Allen said. So is the coyote
Coyotes are also on the increase in West Texas, where there are plenty
rabbits, cantaloupe and watermelons.
"Coyotes love cantaloupe and watermelons," Allen said.
Allen believes the coyote will survive when nothing else will.
"If he has to live on mesquite beans, he will live on them. If he can
get meat, all the better," he said.
Coyotes run in packs during the summer months when they are raising
pups, but are more likely to be spotted traveling alone in the fall and
The danger of attacks on livestock is greater when they are running
in packs, he said.
"Whether it is a bear, mountain lion, coyote eating cantaloupe fields
or predating on livestock, call the local game warden, and we will see
if we can give you a hand," Allen said.
Animals have city over under a barrel
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, July 20, 1999 -- Birds, beasts and bugs may be nature's gift
or a nuisance, depending on your point of view.
Blackie the bear and two Capuchin monkeys in the Maxey Park Zoo draw
youngsters again and again to the little oasis in the desert alongside
An extended cage allows Blackie to roam a little, and five-gallon blocks
of ice in his pool twice a day keeps him cool and happy. Next door, two
cougars hole up in their dens to escape the heat and prying eyes.
Ground squirrels and gophers that dig up the expanse of Bermuda grass
and leave holes for unwary runners to step in are not so popular.
"Gophers are the biggest problem at the zoo and park," said Armando
Gil, parks director for the City of Pecos. "they have done a lot of damage
in the park. They gnaw on roots and create cavities where water won't hold."
Gil said he knows of no way to get rid of gophers.
And he's had little success thinning out the pigeon population that
continues to plague downtown Pecos.
Pigeons that roost on the Reeves County Courthouse and Pecos Post Office
are a health nuisance, Gil said. Should they become a health hazard, he
would have to try again to control them.
"I used a grain with a low dose of poison, but people complained about
dead birds falling off the buildings," Gil said.
And the process is time consuming because the area has to be monitored
closely and the dead birds removed.
"It is a full-time job," he said. "I wish there was a way to get rid
A sticky substance that irritates the feet of pigeons was applied to
some downtown buildings, and it kept them away for a few days, Gil said.
But it is too expensive and difficult to apply for the short period of
time that it works.
Blackbirds, or grackles, are also a problem, but they also provide a
service by eating insects, such as mosquitoes.
Gil said that mosquitoes have not been a problem for the past three
years because it has been so dry, but he expects to start getting complaints
in a few days.
City crews use a low-volume sprayer to kill the mosquito after it hatches.
Larvacide is applied to standing water to prevent the eggs from hatching.
Homeowners can keep the mosquito population down by mowing lawns and
getting rid of weeds and standing water, he said.
Rats, mice and rattlesnakes have been coming into town this year in
search of food and water, Gil said. And he's had reports of flying ants
and honey bees that are a nuisance.
The biggest nuisance of all is people who don't respect the zoo animals,
Gil said. Someone shot Blackie and killed one of the monkeys. Wallabies
were killed by a pit bull that was put into the pen with them. And one
of the wolves got sick from eating meat laced with anti-freeze and Pine
Despite all the problems, Gil and his crew maintain a clean, interesting
zoo for travelers and local folks who want to relax for a few minutes or
RCH clinic, docs offer required hepatitis shots
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, July 20, 1999 -- With the start of school less than a month away,
hepatitis A vaccinations will be available through several local physicians,
and parents and guardians are urged to take care of this before classes
The hepatitis A vaccination is now required for school enrollment in
32 border area counties, and Reeves County is included in the list.
"The reason for the vaccination is that hepatitis A is so contagious,"
said Physicians Assistant Michele Cser. "When it gets into a system, like
the school system, it spreads like wildfire."
"The only way to stop this (Hepatitis A) is with prevention," she added.
"Because once it is introduced into the community it runs rapidly in families
Cser, along with LVN Joe Ortiz, will be vaccinating children on Thursdays
at the Reeves County Hospital's Rural Health Clinic. Call the hospital
at 447-3551 and ask for the clinic.
"We will begin this Thursday and continue giving the vaccinations until
we have all the children vaccinated in the area, or we run out of them,"
Cser said that the next step will be to vaccinate the younger adult
Children in the 32 counties must be vaccinated against hepatitis A illness
to attend public or private schools or child-care facilities this school
year. The requirement is effective Aug. 1 and applies to children 2 and
older who were born after Sept. 2, 1992.
The 32 counties are Brewster, Brooks, Cameron, Crockett, Culberson,
Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, El Paso, Frio, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Jim
Hogg, Kenedy, Kinney, La Salle, Maverick, McMullen, Pecos, Presidio, Real,
Reeves, Starr, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Zapata
Ward County is not on the list, but Cser said students from the Barstow
area who attend school in Pecos also are required to receive the shots
in order to attend classes.
Under Texas Department of Health (TDH) rules approved by the Texas Board
of Health, 2-year-olds in the 32 counties must have one dose of the two-dose
hepatitis A vaccination series to attend child-care facilities. Children
age 3 and older must have two doses given at least six months apart and
must have had the first dose before they can enroll in schools or child-care
Children who have had hepatitis A infection are considered immune to
the illness and do not have to be vaccinated if proof of immunity or previous
infection is provided.
Though the rules only apply to school enrollment, TDH recommends that
all of the estimated 228,000 children ages 2 through 6 in the 32 counties
be vaccinated against hepatitis A.
The hospital's rural health clinic is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
"We'll be giving the vaccinations all day and if someone comes in late
we will stay and take care of them," said Cser.
There will be a $5 vaccination fee, but in cases of economic duress
the fee may be waived, according to Cser.
"Parents also need to remember that the second shot is due within six
months, which would be around January of 2000," she added.
Cser said that parents will have four opportunities to get the vaccination
at the clinic before school starts. "Nobody will be allowed in school without
the shot," said Cser. "The will be considered truant and it's the parents'
responsibilities to get this taken care of."
Studies indicate that 50 percent of the children in some of the 32 counties
have been infected with hepatitis A by age 10. During the last 10 years
there has been an average of 39 cases of hepatitis A infection per 100,000
population per year reported in the 32-county area. The U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine hepatitis A vaccinations
be considered in areas with at least 10 cases per 100,000 population per
year over a 10-year period.
Hepatitis A is a viral disease spread by the fecal-oral route through
close personal contact or by consuming contaminated food or water. The
disease affects the liver. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite,
nausea, abdominal discomfort, jaundice and dark urine. Symptoms can last
several weeks. Young children may be infected without showing any signs
Symptoms usually are more severe in adults. The illness is rarely fatal,
but up to 22 percent of adults with hepatitis A require hospitalization.
Local physicians, Dr. Joseph Darpolor and Dr. Kai Wood Ma will be offering
the vaccine in their offices soon also. For an appointment and information
on the vaccine at Darpolor's office, call 447-4155, Dr. Ma's office, 447-6078.
The vaccination will also be offered at the Trans Pecos Health Clinic,
located at the corner of Daggett and Eddy streets. For information on when
the vaccine will be available there, call 447-3699.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night:
Winning numbers drawn: 7-14-16-18-35. Number matching five of five:
0. Matching four of five: 211. Prize: $952.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery,
2-4-8 (two, four, eight)
Tiburcio Mata Garcia, Sr. died Sunday, July 18, 1999, at his residence.
Mass was held at 2 p.m., today, at St. Mary's Church in Marathon with
Rev. Rick Ruiz officiating.
Garcia was born in Lajitas, on March 15, 1917, was a member of Our Lady
of Peace Church, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wards, and Holy Angels
Cemetery Association. He served during World War II with the U.S. Army
He was preceded in death by a son, Peter Garcia.
Survivors include his wife, Angelita Garcia; five sons, Eliseo Garcia
of Odessa and Tiburcio Garcia Jr., Joe, Paul and Johnny Garcia of Alpine;
five daughters, Susanna Sanchez of Fort Stockton, Scholastica Hernandez
of Marathon, Rita Marquez of Houston and Carol Uranga of Odessa and Bernie
Garcia of Odessa; two sisters, Dora Estrada and Maria Rios, of Carlsbad,
N.M.; two brothers, Margarito Garcia of Midland and Benito Garcia of Fort
Stockton; 31 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Geeslin Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, July 20, 1999 -- High Monday 96; low last night 70. Spotty rainfall
in area, with none in town or at Texas A&M Research Station. Tonight,
partly cloudy with isolated evening showers and thunderstorms. Low around
70. Southeast wind 10 20 mph, decreasing to 5-15 mph before midnight. Chance
of rain less than 20 percent. Wednesday, partly cloudy with isolated afternoon
showers and thunderstorms. High around 90. South wind 10-20 mph. Chance
of rain less than 20 percent. Extended forecast, Wednesday night, partly
cloudy with a slight chance of evening thunderstorms. Low in the lower
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise