NM wildlife biologists investigating elk deaths

August 29, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Department of Game and Fish is investigating [auth] the deaths of more than 100 elk in northeastern New Mexico that may be linked to a virus.

Department biologists traveled to the area in Game Management Unit 46 north of Las Vegas after the die-off was reported Tuesday.

Tissue samples and water samples from the area were taken and delivered to the state Veterinary Diagnostic Services laboratory for analysis.

Wildfire officials say they’re looking into all possible causes, including epizootic hemorrhagic disease.

EHD is a sometimes fatal virus that affects deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and rarely cattle.

The disease is spread by insect bites and has been known to kill large numbers of animals in short periods of time.

Biologists say EHD doesn’t affect humans and isn’t contagious.

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