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Circle-walking deer tests negative for chronic wasting disease

ORONOCO — A deer that was acting oddly near Oronoco had some of the symptoms of chronic wasting disease but a test found it wasn't infected, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

A landowner reported the adult buck deer walking in tight circles for a long time. He reported it to the DNR, which euthanized the animal and took a gland to be tested.  

"We appreciate the public awareness about the disease and its potential effects on the deer population," said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. "We are relieved this animal did not have CWD."

Deer can have several diseases that might lead to the symptom, he said. The DNR is continuing to test to find the cause.



This is the first sick deer found and tested in the CWD zone — which stretches from Wanamingo, Zumbrota and Zumbro Falls southward to Kasson, Byron and Rochester — since sharpshooting ended last winter. None of the 1,181 deer tested in the area have tested positive for the disease.

The zone was set up because an archer shot a deer last fall that was found with CWD. The DNR began to cull the herd with help of landowners and sharpshooters. It also banned feeding and is continuing to watch the herd, he said.

Individuals should continue to notify the DNR if they see a deer exhibiting CWD-like symptoms, which can include walking in circles, drooling, staggering, emaciation and a lack of fear of humans. Those who see an odd-acting deer should call Don Nelson at (507) 206-2858.

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