The Grapevine

‘Zombie’ Deer Targeting Nevada: Officials Fight To Keep Them At Bay

Reading the word ‘Zombie deer’ may sound like it’s something that only a cheesy B-movie from the 90s can come up with, akin to something as crazy as tornadoes that make it rain sharks or giant octopuses that fight equally giant, well… sharks. But make no mistake, as giant sharks battling it out with giant octopuses underwater seem unlikely, wildlife regulators confirm that ‘zombie deer’ are in fact, real. And while they may not look like what you initially pictured in your mind (bloody, rotting wounds and all), they’re just as dangerous, and the regulators are working hard to keep them out of Nevada.

According to a report from the Las Vegas Sun, the term relates to living deer that have contracted the chronic wasting disease, which is unfortunately a terminal disorder that is highly contagious. Because its symptoms include lack of emaciation, lethargy and lack of fear of humans, the disease can easily destroy the population of both deer and elk.

At the moment, officials are testing dead deer, as well as monitoring migratory elk and deer at the state line for symptoms or any signs of sickness that might indicate they’ve contracted the disease, per Nevada state wildlife veterinarian Peregrine Wolff. However, Wolff is aware that the current efforts to decrease the risk probably won’t stop the disease at the state line of Nevada.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when . We know that we can’t wrap Nevada in a bubble,” Wolff said in an interview.

In line with this problem, the state went ahead and passed a law this year that prohibits certain parts of carcasses to enter its premises to help stop the spreading of the disease not just to animals, but also potentially to people. Per reports, sightings of animals that are contracting the sickness include Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas.

Chronic Wasting Disease

Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the minimum time between exposure and the first symptoms is around 16 months. Furthermore, the average incubation for the disease is two to four years, which is why finding an infected deer is so hard.

deer-940500_1280 People on the psychopathic scale are more likely to assault their partners. Image courtesy of Pixabay, public domain