No CWD Postive Elk Found

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The test results for 135 wild elk and 285 deer culled outside the Motherwell captive elk facility near Craig examined for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) showed that none of the elk tested positive for the disease.

Colorado Division of Wildlife officials determined that none of the wild elk taken outside of the fenced area were CWD-positive, while an additional three wild deer were found to have the disease. The results of the three diseased animals brings the total number of CWD-positive deer captured outside of the fenced captive elk facility to six of 633 animals tested - an infectivity rate of less than one percent in deer.

Gov. Bill Owens said that the test results underscored that the aggressive approach to combating CWD is the right course for Colorado.

"These results confirmed what we were all hoping to hear," the Governor said. "We'll continue to be aggressive in fighting this disease, but this is cause for great optimism for the Western Slope."

Colorado Division of Wildlife Director Russ George said that, to date, zero wild elk and less than one percent of deer have tested positive near Craig.

"This is good news for Colorado," George said.

Wildlife officials became aware of CWD at the 1,800-acre captive elk farm near Craig after a wild deer killed inside the facility tested positive in late March, 2002. CWD is a fatal brain malady found in deer and elk that causes the animal to become emaciated and display abnormal behavior.