It’s no longer hypothetical – Chronic Wasting Disease has been confirmed in a buck mule deer in Grand Teton National Park.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 21st, Wyoming Game & Fish issued the following statement: “The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory has confirmed that an adult buck mule deer from Grand Teton National Park has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The deer had been struck by a vehicle and tissue samples were collected by National Park Service personnel and submitted for testing.”
The statement goes on to observe that while this discovery “raises concern” among wildlife managers, “the positive test result does not come as a surprise.” It comes as no surprise to us, either. The WGFD’s unwillingness to phase out feedgrounds and determination to aggressively hunt wolves, bears and cougars has made this development not only unsurprising, but inevitable.
“The time for theorizing and procrastinating is over. The only hope that Jackson Hole’s elk and deer have is swift and decisive action on the part of managers,” says Executive Director Melissa Thomasma. “Half-steps are entirely insufficient at this juncture. WGFD must immediately implement a plan to phase out elk feedgrounds, and must bring a halt to all wolf and cougar hunting in the area. Predators could easily be the best hope we have.”
This story is developing, and WWA will be expanding on it in the coming days and weeks.
Given this news, WWA’s campaign to end wolf hunting in Wyoming has been imbued with fresh urgency. Resources will make all the difference in this fight. Can you help us? The wolves – and the ungulates – need us.