CWD Found in Grand Teton
Written by andrew-rossi on November 26, 2018
A deadly disease that affects animals including deer, elk and moose has been detected for the first time in Grand Teton National Park.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced Wednesday it found chronic wasting disease in an adult buck mule deer killed by a vehicle in the park.
Wildlife managers say that while this raises concern, the positive test result does not come as a surprise based on recent positive results for mule deer in Star Valley and Pinedale in 2017. Recent migration research has shown that some mule deer that summer in Grand Teton National Park spend winters to the east near Dubois and Cody, which have both had deer that have tested positive for CWD in recent years.
Chronic wasting disease causes animals to behave oddly and become emaciated. It is similar to mad-cow disease and has spread to at least 23 U.S. states since its discovery over 50 years ago. The detection in Grand Teton raises concern the disease could spread rapidly at feedgrounds where wildlife managers provide food pellets to elk during the winter.
Because of the presence of CWD in Grand Teton, officials at the National Elk Refuge announced Friday that starting Sunday, hunters must turn over the heads of elk they kill for disease testing. Up to now, participation in the monitoring program was voluntary.