Lichen

Lichen kills elk near Wamsutter; officials warn hunters not to shoot sickly elk

2012-10-02T20:30:00Z Lichen kills elk near Wamsutter; officials warn hunters not to shoot sickly elkBy CHRISTINE PETERSON Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

Do not shoot an elk that looks weak or paralyzed. It could be suffering from lichen poisoning, and officials do not know the possible health effects on humans if infected meat is eaten, said Daryl Lutz, Lander regional wildlife supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Wildlife officials found a dead cow elk in September near Wamsutter. Tests revealed it died of lichen poisoning.

Lichen poisoning causes elk to be paralyzed, and they typically die of starvation or predation. Officials do not know what in the lichen causes paralysis in elk, according to a media release.

“That’s why we are discouraging people from harvesting any elk that look suspicious,” Lutz said.

Wildlife officials are also asking people to report any elk that look sick or are behaving suspiciously.

Wyoming elk have died from lichen poisoning in the past. More than 500 elk died in the 2004 and 2008 winters, according to the release.

This case of lichen poisoning was earlier in the year than past ones, which may be because of dry conditions and lack of food, Lutz said.

Wildlife across Wyoming are suffering from this year’s drought. White-tailed deer in the Black Hills area are dying from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, spread by biting gnats and made worse during dry years. Deer and antelope will enter winter thinner than normal and more susceptible to harsh conditions, according to wildlife officials.

To report any elk with strange behavior or paralysis, call Rawlins Game Warden Brady Frude at 307-328-0313, Sinclair Biologist Greg Hiatt at 307-324-2116 or the Lander Regional Office at 307-332-2688.

Reach Open Spaces reporter Christine Peterson at 307-746-3121 or christine.peterson@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter@PetersonOutside.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Untitled Document

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps...

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

  5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editors@trib.com, or call Editor Jason Adrians at 266-0545 or Content Director David Mayberry at 266-0633. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

  6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

  7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

  8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Featured Businesses

Latest Offers