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DENVER (AP) — Colorado wildlife managers are fighting a deadly disease that attacks the brain of deer, elk and moose, and has infected up to 16 percent of male animals tested in parts of Colorado.

The Denver Post reports that data show chronic wasting disease is threatening the health of Colorado wildlife populations already hammered by rapid human population growth and a development boom that devours open habitat. Colorado Parks and Wildlife leaders last week called combating the disease a top priority.

They’ve launched a task force and are mulling tactics including tracking the disease by requiring hunters to test carcasses of the animals they kill, and trying to reduce the prevalence of the disease by hunting bucks in hard-hit herds.

The disease is a variant of mad cow and scrapie.


Information from: The Denver Post,