The week of opening day nearly 100 New Mexico elk were mysteriously found dead: the cause unknown.
Every New Mexico elk hunters' worst nightmare is receiving a call from their outfitter saying their trip needs to be rescheduled.
Such was the case in 2013 when a herd of elk died suddenly on a New Mexico ranch. The original cause was thought to be epizootic hemorrhagic disease or EHD.
However, that ended up not being the case. So what was the deadly mystery that plagued this elk herd?
According to a press release by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish the elk died of a toxic algae.
After biologists conducted tests from nearby pond samples they discover a deadly neurotoxin. The toxin is capable of causing serious illness or death in under 12 hours.
Elk died in a one-half mile by three-fourths mile area. The elk showed signs of struggling on the ground which is consistent with a neurotoxin.
This is just a reminder for hunters this season. If you see an elk or any wildlife that looks sick don't harvest the animal and be sure to call local wildlife officials.
While diseases such as EHD cannot be transmitted through consumption it's still not a good idea to consume these animals.
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