COLUMBIA — Two more wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
A total of five wild deer have tested positive for the syndrome in Missouri. Missouri’s first two infected wild bucks were killed during the 2011 hunting season within two miles of the Heartland Wildlife Ranch in northwestern Macon County, where infected captive deer were previously identified.
The disease lethally affects game such as elk, moose and deer.
The first two afflicted wild bucks prompted the conservation department to gather 656 tissue samples from a 163-square-mile area surrounding the infected private hunting ranch in Macon County. From those samples, the department identified three additional wild deer infections — two adult doe and one adult buck, according to a conservation department news release.
All five infected wild white-tailed deer were killed within two miles of the Macon County ranch, according to the department. Since 2002, the department has conducted more than 34,000 tests for the disease.
In *February 2010, captive deer tested positive for the disease in another Heartland Wildlife Ranch in Linn County under the same owner.
The Macon County Ranch is undergoing depopulation as a result of having infected captive deer, according to department. All captive game in the ranch are being killed.
The department is continuing to analyze the new results, consult experts and work with other states where the disease is present, according to the release.