Chronic wasting disease found in Montana elk for first time
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials say chronic wasting disease has been detected in one of the state’s elk for the first time.
The Billings Gazette reported the cow elk was shot by a landowner northeast of Red Lodge earlier this month.
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks says tests on tissue samples from the carcass confirm the presence of the disease, which has previously been detected in Montana deer.
Montana’s first chronic wasting disease case in the wild was in a mule deer in 2017.
Officials say the disease’s prevalence in wild elk is lower than in deer in other states.
A suspected case in a Montana moose also emerged earlier this month.
Nick Gevock of the Montana Wildlife Federation says he is disappointed but not surprised by the species crossover.
Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com