Three deer collected for testing all had respiratory infection
The Pennsylvania Game Commission says a mystery surrounding the deaths of perhaps two dozen deer in upper Dauphin County might have been solved.
Authorities say preliminary test results have come back for three deer picked up in the Powell’s Valley area, and all three had one or more types of pneumonia. Further testing to check for the presence of other diseases has not yet returned results.
But in any case, it appears pneumonia was present in the local herd and the smaller, weaker animals – characteristics of many of those that were reported dead – succumbed to the disease. The dehydration symptoms apparent in the deer initially examined by the Game Commission also could be attributed to pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a rare occurrence in deer, and the reasons it might have cropped up in the area are unknown.
Reports of dead and sickly deer in Powell’s Valley have tapered off in recent weeks, which could indicate the problem has been alleviated.
The Game Commission continues to ask those in the area who see deer that appear to be sick or encounter deer that have died from unapparent causes to report them to the Southeast Region Office at (610) 926-3136.