Sharpshooters to take out Illinois deer

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Sharpshooters will return to a Will County forest preserve to take out a few more deer in an effort to curb a fatal disease among the herd.

Forest preserve officials discovered chronic wasting disease in the Kankakee Sands preservation area near Braidwood, which includes the Braidwood Dunes and Savanna and the Sand Ridge Savanna.

The neurological disease, which is similar to mad cow disease, was discovered after tissue samples collected from a deer killed through the district’s deer-culling program tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

It is the first documented case of chronic wasting disease among deer in Will County.

“Once it’s introduced, (chronic wasting disease) is 100 percent fatal,” said Marcy DeMauro, executive director for the Will County Forest Preserve District. “We’re trying very hard to keep the risk of spread very low.”

Forest preserve commissioners last week gave the go-ahead to remove another 20 deer from Kankakee Sands, which covers more than 1,200 acres, to help determine if the one positive result for chronic wasting disease was an isolated case or if the disease has spread through the herd.

“Bottom line, once (the disease) is present, the higher density you have for deer the higher rate for the spread of the disease,” said DeMauro, who added that removing the additional 20 deer helps reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

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Source: Chicago Tribune

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