The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced Thursday, July 27, that two free-ranging deer were euthanized July 26 in Ridgway Township, Elk County. The deer were discovered about 20 miles north of Disease Management Area 3, within the Commonwealth’s Elk Management Area.
“This is disturbing news following the discovery a CWD-positive wild deer earlier this month in DMA 3,” said Wayne Laroche, the Game Commission’s special assistant for CWD response. “With the Department of Agriculture’s assistance, we will do all in our power to sort out what happened quickly and take appropriate action.”
Both deer had identification tags in their ears, indicating they were at one time part of a captive-deer herd. The Department of Agriculture manages deer farming operations in the Commonwealth.
The Game Commission has launched an investigation and will work with the state Department of Agriculture to determine ownership of these deer and to ascertain whether they escaped a facility or were intentionally released into the wild, according to a Game Commission news release Thursday.
“The deer are currently being examined by the Commission’s wildlife veterinarian, who will conduct an initial test to determine whether either deer was infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD),” Laroche said.
The discovery of deer from a captive herd in the wild raises significant concerns as the Commission attempts to combat the expansion of CWD.
Individuals who may have seen these deer in recent days or know from where they might have originated are asked to contact the Game Commission’s north-central office at 570-398-4744 or 570-398-4745.