October 22, 2013 at 12:03 am #665MikeKeymaster
By Monica Keen, Staff Writer
Friday, April 8, 2005 4:19 PM CDT
Over 25 dead elk discovered on property south of Muldrow has sparked
an investigation by wildlife officials to determine why the animals
“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Chief Larry Manering with the
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation said Thursday.
Manering said it was his understanding the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s
office received a complaint from concerned citizens about dead elk
that could be seen from the road.
The sheriff’s office contacted wildlife officials, who started their
investigation at that time.
“A search warrant was executed (Tuesday) in regard to what’s going on
with those dead animals,” Manering said.
Manering said wildlife personnel, the sheriff’s office, and officials
with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture are involved in the
“There’s concern on everybody’s part,” Manering said.
One of those concerns is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is
currently a hot topic nationwide, Manering said. He said CWD is one
of the diseases the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is testing for
in this herd of elk.
“I know we have concerns, as well as the public,” Manering said.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Web site,
CWD is a degenerative neurological illness affecting farmed and wild
elk and deer in North America. No other types of animals are affected.
“Oklahoma has no documentation of any CWD,” Manering said.
Manering said wild deer are tested each year to make sure there are
no cases of CWD since CWD would be a detriment to wildlife and the
Jack Carson, spokesperson for the department of agriculture, said
according to preliminary findings, over 25 elk were found dead at the
Carson said agriculture agents took tissue samples from the dead elk,
and the testing is being done by a USDA lab, which will notify them
of the results. Carson said he is hoping to hear from the lab
sometime next week.
Carson called the testing “very routine.”
“We automatically test something like that for CWD,” Carson said.
Carson stressed that all animals are susceptible to many different
diseases. He said the dead elk could be linked to a parasite problem
or they could have been aged animals.
Carson said from his understanding the dead elk were part of a fairly
sizeable farmed-elk herd, but he did not have a head count.
“This is standard operating procedures,” he said. “We do this for any
Carson said CWD affects the central nervous system and works like a
bad parasite. He said it can cause various problems such as
staggering and emaciation. Carson noted that there is no evidence CWD
has any impact on human health.
Carson said the agriculture department’s primary concerns are animal
health and carcass disposal. He said the department makes sure
carcasses are buried properly.
Carson said the wildlife conservation department manages a herd of
elk in the Cookson Hills area and they have a problem called brain
worm in that herd, which is responsible for much of elk death there.
“It’s very possible that’s what we could be looking at with this,”
Manering said after their investigation is complete, the district
attorney’s office will decide if any charges, such as wildlife
violations, will be filed against the elk owners. He noted that game
wardens have not written any citations.
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