Wyoming Finds Elk With CWD in Area 14

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A cow elk displaying symptoms of chronic wasting disease south of Encampment was confirmed to have been infected with the disease Feb. 28, according to tests conducted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Laboratory.

It was the first elk to test positive for CWD in hunt area 14, although several deer have tested positive in the area in past years.

The elk had been reported to the Game and Fish by concerned public with the classic CWD symptoms of being emaciated, profuse salivation and disorientation. The animal was collected and taken to the laboratory by Game Warden Matt Withroder Feb. 17.

"We're not surprised at the discovery because the disease had been detected in deer in the area and it is also found in Colorado hunt areas to the south," said Jeff Smith, wildlife supervisor for the Game and Fish's Laramie Region.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that has been diagnosed in deer, elk and moose in 10 states and two Canadian provinces. Animals show no apparent signs of illness throughout much of the disease's course. In terminal stages of CWD, animals typically are emaciated and display abnormal behavior.

There is no confirmed link between CWD and any human illness.

For more information on CWD visit the Game and Fish Web site at http://gf.state.wy.us.