Chronic Wasting Disease found in Montana elk, first ever
The discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in a Carbon County elk, the same county in which the first Montana case of CWD was discovered in 2017, spells trouble for Montana’s cervids. The disease was previously limited to state deer populations, but in November was confirmed in a Troy moose and now elk. “It’s become very apparent that this is very widespread and now it’s crossed over — with moose and elk — it’s in all cervid species,” Nick Gevock, conservation director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, told the Billings Gazette. There are concerns the disease could affect elk with higher prevalence due to their extremely social nature, worries amplified by a population already in flux. Animals infected with the fatal disease will excessively drool and appear emaciated, drowsy and clumsy.