Home / Health / DEC wants rare "exotic" deer spotted upstate targeted, killed as a precaution

DEC wants rare "exotic" deer spotted upstate targeted, killed as a precaution

Conservation officials in New York encourage hunters to target and kill an "exotic" non-native species of deer that has been discovered in the state and can potentially infect domestic animals in the area with a fatal disease.

New York State Department of Conservation has received several footage pictures of a male Sika deer, according to a

report from New York Upstate

. The small moose is native to Japan and East Asia, and at least two sources have sent pictures to environmental managers.

According to the report, Jerry Grigonis, Fulton, said he first noticed the deer on his track camera in Granby, a small town in Oswego County, in November. Sika deer has not been found in New York beyond any observations on Long Island for more than a decade ago.

Officials are worried that the seal deer might have chronic wasting disease, "a lethal neurological disorder arising in North American members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mules, moose, and moose," according to the United States Geological Survey. If so, there is potential for this species to spread the disease to the local white-tailed deer population.

In response, NYSDEC is encouraging hunters to kill Sika deer if they encounter one. The deer, which is not protected in New York, can then be tested for the disease so that health care professionals can confirm whether the disease has spread.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, "Sika deer are small members of the elk family who have a dark brown to black coat. Sikas tend to retain their white spots as adults more prominent in the summer. Men (stags) also have a dark shaggy mane running down the neck Sika deer has a white patch that blinks outward when it is worried.

"Proportionally to white-tailed deer, sika deer have shorter snouts and smaller ears. Sika Antlers can reach lengths of up to 1

5 inches. Sika stags normally weigh 90 pounds while she weighs about 70 pounds. They are two and a half feet high at the shoulder. . "

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the "cause system for chronic wasting disease" is considered prion – abnormal, pathogenic agents that can be transmitted and can induce abnormal folding of specific normal cellular proteins called prion proteins most abundant in the brain. The functions of these normal prion proteins are still not fully understood. The abnormal folding of the prion protein leads to brain damage and characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease. Prion diseases are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal. "

Anyone with track camera pictures or seeing the deer has been asked to contact officials by emailing R7Wildlife@dec.ny.gov or calling 607-756-3095.

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