When a deer was found nearly drowned in a Mower County pond a few weeks ago, experts thought it might have epizootic hemorrhagic disease, an infectious and sometimes fatal disease that they feared had come into Minnesota from Iowa or another state.
Much to their surprise, the whitetail had rabies. It was the first known case of a whitetail deer with rabies in Minnesota, said Dr. Joni Scheftel, a Minnesota Public Health Department veterinarian.
While it’s incredibly rare for a deer to have the disease, “all mammals can get rabies,” she said. This one probably got it after being bitten by a rabid skunk. It was not a danger to humans, she said.