While everyone was worried about Chronic Wasting Disease infecting New York's deer population, suddenly a different affliction is rearing it's head. For the fourth time in less than two weeks a deer has died from rabies.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was notified by a property owner in Orleans County of a dead deer in a nearby pond. A brain sample sent to Cornell's Wildlife Health Lab tested positive for rabies. Of special concern were other deer seen swimming in the same water.

Previously the DEC confirmed three rabid deer, one each in Cayuga, Cortland, and Ontario counties. Including this most recent discovery, four deer have been confirmed rabid since October 8. With deer season just beginning to hit full stride, hunters are urged to be watchful for infected deer. Tell tale signs include:

  • Appearing tame or being approachable
  • Anorexia or extremely thin animals
  • Lack of coordination or restlessness
  • Aggressiveness or lack of fear

DEC encourages everyone to report unusual acting deer by contacting your DEC Regional Wildlife Office. Here's how to properly report diseased or dead animals.

Rabies can be transmitted from animals to humans through blood and saliva. Hunters are urged to use disposable gloves when field dressing or butchering your harvest. Wash your hands with soap and water when you are finished. Obviously you should never eat animals that appear abnormal.

Read more on the rabies infected deer at Cornell's website.

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