- Early indications are that the deaths of 13 deer in north
east Otter Tail County don't appear to be linked to chronic wasting disease,
a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) spokesman said.
- The DNR received a report last week from 2 landowners
southwest of Menahga that 12 deer had died in a concentrated area, said
DNR regional wildlife supervisor John Breyen of Bemidji. Those deer had
decomposed too badly to be tested for a cause of death, but one more deer
died and the DNR removed its head and sent it to the University of Minnesota
to be tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
- The landowners who contacted the DNR about the deer said
the animals had been emaciated before they died. But Breyen said a couple
of factors suggested that the deer did not have CWD, an infectious disease
that attacks the brains of deer and elk. The deer were anemic, which can
be one sign of CWD, but they also exhibited other signs not consistent
with the disease such as black, runny droppings, Breyen said. Also, all
the deer were found in a small area, which would not necessarily be consistent
with CWD, Breyen said.
- Because the deer all died in such a limited area, Breyen
theorized they could have eaten some tainted food such as moldy corn. "It
was a very, very isolated area," Breyen said. "That leads us
to believe it was something they got into."
- The DNR will collect more deer from the area for testing,
Breyen said. DNR personnel from Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids were in the
area Tuesday night hoping to shoot some animals, and several landowners
have been authorized to do the same. Breyen said the DNR would like to
collect 5 deer, but 2 or 3 would be sufficient.
- The entire carcasses of those deer will be sent to the
University of Minnesota for necropsies. CWD has been at the forefront of
DNR testing efforts for the past couple of years, ever since the disease
was found in a single captive elk on a farm near Aitkin. The disease has
never been found in the state's wild deer population.
- In the fall of 2003, the DNR tested nearly 10 000 deer
harvested by hunters. No positive tests were found. The test sample included
328 deer taken from hunting Zone 411, which is adjacent to the area in
Otter Tail County in which the 13 dead deer were found.
- Typical signs of CWD include drooping head or ears, poor
body condition, tremors, stumbling, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing
or excessive thirst or urination, according to the DNR website.
- This many deer in an apparently small areas does not
seem to be CWD, and it seems it is too early in the season for epizootic
hemorrhagic disease. - Mod.TG....mpp/tg/pg/sh
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health