It was a disturbing sight. A fully grown female elk rocking its head back and forth unable to get up. In the end, wildlife officers euthanized it and sent its remains to a lab for examination. A wildlife veterinarian collaborated with a pathologist only to determine it died of clostridial disease, a bacterial disorder related to an absence of oxygen, usually found in the soil that is often fatal.
The incident happened in Canmore, a small town just outside Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.
“I can’t say it hasn’t been identified before (outside the park), but this is the first time in 22 years I’ve ever interacted with it,” Mark Hoskin, Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer, told MountainView Today.
Wildlife officials say it is rare to find the disease in elk but it can get into the bloodstream and cause all kinds of issues, including death.
MountainView Today reports there are several suspicious deaths in the Banff herd over the last two years.
(Photo credit: Banff National Park)