Deer tests positive for Zombie Disease in county not far from San Antonio


The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking hunters to test their deer for Chronic Wasting Disease after it was discovered in Kimble County, about two hours northwest of San Antonio.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking hunters to test their deer for Chronic Wasting Disease after it was discovered in Kimble County, about two hours northwest of San Antonio.

Photo: Shannon Tompkins, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Photo: Shannon Tompkins, Staff / Houston Chronicle

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking hunters to test their deer for Chronic Wasting Disease after it was discovered in Kimble County, about two hours northwest of San Antonio.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking hunters to test their deer for Chronic Wasting Disease after it was discovered in Kimble County, about two hours northwest of San Antonio.

Photo: Shannon Tompkins, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Deer tests positive for Zombie Disease in county not far from San Antonio

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking hunters to test their deer for Chronic Wasting Disease after it was discovered in Kimble County, about two hours northwest of San Antonio.

The disease was found at a deer breeding facility on Wednesday, making it the first positive detection in that area, TPWD said in a news release.

The origin of the disease is unknown as records show the deer facility has not shipped in new deer in the last five years, said Mitch Lockwood, director of the big game program for TPWD. The breeder has also had an active disease surveillance program since 2011 and hadn’t had a positive detection until now.

The disease is neurological and affects the brain and nervous system of deer, elk and moose. The result is always fatal, Lockwood said.

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The disease has been documented in 26 states and three Canadian provinces. In Texas, the disease was first discovered in 2012 near El Paso. The disease has since been detected in 169 white-tailed deer, red deer and mule deer in the following counties: Dallam, El Paso, Hartley, Hudspeth, Kimble, Lavaca, Medina, Uvalde and Val Verde.

Symptoms do not appear for several years and include staggering, abnormal posture, drooling, confusion and severe weight loss. The majority of the animals that test positive for the disease have “looked perfectly healthy,” Lockwood said. The disease also goes by Zombie Deer Disease.

There is no evidence the disease can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock or pets. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not to consume meat from infected animals.

Although the disease has not been detected in the San Antonio area, Lockwood said “anything is possible” and advises all Texas hunters to test their deer just in case.

If you are planning to harvest deer, contact your wildlife biologist for more information. Chronic Wasting Disease zones and information can be found here.

Priscilla Aguirre is a breaking news reporter and general assignment writer. Read her on our breaking news site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com | priscilla.aguirre@express-news.net | @CillaAguirre

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