Steamboat Springs Another animal found near Hayden has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
A road-killed deer picked up on Oct. 4 by the Colorado Division of Wildlife tested positive for CWD, the DOW reported Friday. The deer was found about four miles east of Hayden.
It is the second animal in three weeks found near Hayden that has tested positive for the disease.
A cow elk killed north of Hayden tested positive for CWD in late September. DOW officials euthanized the elk after it had been hit by a vehicle and then tested it for the disease.
CWD was first detected in Northwest Colorado in May, near the Motherwell Elk Ranch southwest of Hayden. That finding led DOW officials to kill more than 1,000 deer and elk within a five-mile radius of the ranch with the hopes of controlling the malady from spreading through the spring migration.
Five animals have tested positive for CWD this hunting season outside of the originally established endemic area in Northeast Colorado: the road-killed deer; the elk killed north of Hayden by the DOW; a hunter-killed elk near Green Mountain Reservoir in Summit County; a hunter-killed mule deer northeast of Collbran; and a hunter-killed mule deer south of Denver and west of Chatfield Reservoir.
Including those in the endemic area, 18 animals have tested positive for CWD this hunting season out of 1,600 that were tested.
Chronic wasting disease attacks the brains of infected deer and elk, causing the animals to starve to death. A mutant protein causes the disease, and there is not a vaccine or a cure for it. It is estimated to occur in 5 percent to 10 percent of mule deer and less than 1 percent of elk in Northwest Colorado and southeast Wyoming, according to the DOW.
The disease has been found in deer and elk herds in five states, which include parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota.
No documented cases have shown a connection between CWD and humans.
Hunters can have their carcasses checked for the disease by bringing the animals' heads to the Colorado Division of Wildlife Office in Steamboat Springs at 925 Weiss Drive. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The cost is $17. The hunter will be contacted in about a week if the test is positive. Negative results are posted on the Internet at www.wildlife.state.co.us.