Texas Ranch Battles Its Own Zombie Apocalype, Kills Hundreds of Deer With Wasting Disease
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Texas Ranch Battles Its Own Zombie Apocalype, Kills Hundreds of Deer With Wasting Disease

One Texas ranch had its own version of the zombie apocalypse. However, unlike The Walking Dead, the situation became incredibly sad and complicated.

Wildlife officials were forced to step in and euthanize around 250 white-tail deer. Most had the zombie deer disease, which is also known as chronic wasting disease. The measure comes after a couple of years of battling the Texas ranch owner. The rancher did not want officials to kill his deer.

Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told USA TODAY  that agents terminated the infected animals on Thursday with rifles and pistols. They killed the deer population at the 1,500-acre RW Trophy Ranch in Terrell. It's the largest zombie deer disease outbreak in Texas. Officials confirmed the animals had a very contagious and deadly disease.

Clinically called chronic wasting disease, the virus creates symptoms similar to that of a zombie. Think lots of drooling, staggered movements, and general uneasiness as the virus attacks the deer's brain. It fortunately hasn't been transmitted to humans.

Most Of The Deer Had Chronic Wasting Disease

Rober Williams opposed the killing of his deer. He sued the state in 2022 after officials attempted to kill his stock of deer. He said he had a record to breed, but courts found that deer cannot be legally owned. A deer first contracted wasting disease at the ranch in 2021. When more deer tested positive, the state initiated a kill order. In 2021, RW Trophy Ranch reported 637 deer in its herd inventory. Officials ended up killing 352 deer at the ranch on May 28. Of that number, 254 people tested positive for wasting disease.

"Nearly 90 percent of samples collected this year tested positive or suspect positive," Lerrin Johnson, a state wildlife press officer said Monday. "RW Trophy Ranch was losing an average 2 percent of its deer herd each week. In addition,12 deer also tested positive on release sites either near or associated with RW Trophy Ranch."

They carried out the killings at daylight on the 28th. "This is a task we never take lightly and that is always a last resort, but that has proven the most prudent and standard practice for managing prion diseases in wildlife," TPWD released in a statement to USA TODAY. They took the bodies to a biohazard waste dump in Waco.

Although it seems like a drastic measure, keep in mind that the virus is highly contagious, and the last thing Texas want is a full-blown zombie apocalypse.