The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirms that a whitetail deer a mere 25 miles away from the state’s elk herd tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.
“Oh, we certainly are concerned with that proximity to the elk,” Jasmine Batten, MDC wildlife disease coordinator, told the Springfield News-Leader. “At this point there’s no reason to believe CWD has reached Peck Ranch, because we do test all the elk mortality cases we find. But the case in Oregon County is close enough for that to be of concern.”
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided both funding and volunteer manpower to assist with the successful reintroduction of wild, free-ranging elk to their historic Missouri range in 2011.
CWD is a fatal neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in cervids – deer, elk and moose. The disease attacks the brains of infected animals and produces small lesions that result in death. There is no cure; once an animal is infected, it will die.
For more information about CWD, go to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website.
(Photo source: Missouri Department of Conservation)