Tuesday, December 16, 2008

OREGON NEWS: Dead Deer in Backyards

State wildlife biologists are mystified over the deaths of at least a dozen seemingly healthy black-tailed deer in back yards in Ashland.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Steve Niemela said field tests on two deer revealed they did not die from ruminitis, a disease that kills deer fed corn by residents.

"They had lots of fat and looked like healthy animals, but were dead," Niemela said.

Organ tissue samples are being tested.

One showed possible signs of the adenovirus, a contagious disease that earlier this decade wiped out deer around Ashland, Jacksonville and other areas where the animals had reached unnatural concentrations because some people were feeding them.

Until lab tests are done, Niemela said, it was premature to conclude the adenovirus has resurfaced.

Source: OregonLive.com

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