Case is the furthest south CWD has been found in Colorado

An adult mule deer buck killed by a hunter at Fort Carson south of Colorado Springs has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The hunter harvested the deer on Dec. 24, 2004, and submitted a sample to the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) for testing. Colorado State University’s Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory in Fort Collins confirmed the presence of the fatal, brain-wasting disease in the animal. “This is the second mule deer buck that has tested positive for CWD in the Colorado Springs area,” said Kathi Green, the DOW’s disease coordinator. “This is the farthest south we have found CWD along the Front Range. “We will continue our surveillance efforts in the Colorado Springs area and along the southern Front Range. As always, we continue to encourage hunters to submit animals for testing,” Green added. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a fatal neurological illness that afflicts mule and white-tailed deer and elk. Diseased animals have been found in portions of northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming for more than two decades. Three years ago CWD was detected in deer and elk in northwestern Colorado. The disease has been found in wild deer in eight states and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Last April, a Colorado Springs resident reported a sick deer to the local DOW office, which led to the discovery of the city’s first CWD-positive mule deer. “We need the help of local residents and hunters in identifying deer and elk that appear to be ill as part of our disease monitoring,” said Dave Lovell, acting regional manager for the DOW in southeastern Colorado. Lovell said the latest case was found through a cooperative effort between the DOW and Fort Carson to test deer and elk harvested on the Army post. “The Division of Wildlife maintains a strong working relationship with both Fort Carson and the U.S. Air Force Academy,” Lovell said. “Cooperative efforts with federal land managers are critical in our efforts to manage CWD. “Testing deer and elk harvested on military installations is an interregnal part of our effort to increase the CWD testing sample size in the greater Colorado Springs area,” Lovell added. Statewide, 12,794 elk, deer and moose have been tested since the 2004 hunting season began last August. Of those, 150 animals have tested positive. For more information about CWD, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/CWD/index.asp