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Officials Declare Screwworm Nightmare is Over for Florida’s Endangered Key Deer Herd

key deer
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Florida’s Key deer finally catch a break.

You may recall late last summer Florida officials were very concerned when an outbreak of a flesh-eating screwworm larvae that infected the population of the endangered key deer.

But the deer are finally getting a reprieve as officials have announced the screwworm outbreak is finally over. In total, 135 key deer either died directly from the disease or were euthanized in the outbreak according to the Miami Herald.

While 135 deer may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things but it’s devastating for a herd estimated at only around 835 deer. The outbreak sent officials and local residents scrambling to deploy drugs to fight the fly’s larvae and sterile flies intended to genetically modify the fly population and prevent further outbreaks.

And it appears their combined efforts worked. No more cases of the flesh-eating screwworm have been detected.

“What was most impressive was not just the level of passion and commitment that people demonstrated for the key deer, but the way so many agencies and interests came together to solve this crisis,” said National Key Deer Refuge manager Dan Clark.

The announcement is especially good timing with fawns starting to drop. Officials will continue to monitor and collect data from radio collared animals. Still, Florida residents are no doubt relieved to hear that the worst appears to be behind this tiny and very unique deer herd.

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Officials Declare Screwworm Nightmare is Over for Florida’s Endangered Key Deer Herd