Jake Judd | Feb 15, 2019 AT 3:07 pm
Photo: Minnesota DNR
(KNSI) – A fatal deer disease has been found in wild deer for the first time in Central Minnesota.
Wildlife managers have confirmed chronic wasting disease in a deer in Crow Wing County, marking the first discovery of the fatal brain disease among the state’s wild deer outside the southeastern corner of the state.
The Department of Natural Resources says the deer was found dead a half-mile from a farm near Merrifield, north of Brainerd, where captive deer have tested positive for CWD.
The department says it doesn’t appear the deer escaped, but officials believe the farm is the likely source of the infection.
The DNR could sponsor a special hunt to remove deer from the area in order to stop the spread of the illness.
The disease previously had been found in wild deer in Fillmore, Houston and Winona Counties.
Gov. Tim Walz will ask the Legislature for $4.57 million over the next two years and $1.1 million annually thereafter to combat the disease.