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Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

Chronic Wasting Disease has been detected in a mule deer in Great Falls

Mule deer.
Mule deer.

A case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) recently detected in a mule deer marks the first confirmed case of the contagious neurological condition within the city limits of Great Falls.

The adult buck was found dead within the city limits of Great Falls in January. A resident noticed that the animal was acting abnormally and later found the dead deer on the property. Samples collected by wildlife biologists were confirmed to be positive for CWD in two separate lab tests.

While this is the first confirmed case of CWD within the city limits, a mule deer buck harvested late last year about 15 miles east of Great Falls was confirmed to have the disease as well.

The disease that infects deer, elk and moose is always fatal, and there is no known cure.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department asks property owners in the Great Falls area to avoid feeding deer and other wildlife, since unnatural concentrations of wildlife increases the risk of spreading CWD and other diseases.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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