Trophy elk euthanized after roaming into disease area

FILE - This bull elk was photographed in September 2015 by the Pennsylvania Game Commission's live camera in Elk County. (Credit: Pennsylvania Game Commission)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission says it euthanized a trophy elk after the bull wandered into a chronic wasting disease management area.

The 8- by 9-point bull was put down Aug. 7 to ensure it would not bring the disease back to the state’s elk range. Chronic wasting disease is fatal to elk, deer, and moose.

The elk has been tested for chronic the disease and the results are pending.

The agency said the bull wandered outside of the elk management area and into a disease management area south of Interstate 80 that includes parts of Clearfield, Indiana and Jefferson counties. Elk normally stay north of I-80.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the likelihood the elk would return to the range and interact with other elk during the upcoming breeding season weighed heavily in the decision to euthanize the bull. He said the agency “acted decisively to extinguish this threat.”

Chronic wasting disease was found at a captive deer farm in the disease management area in 2014. A wild deer was found to have the disease in June.

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