Fatal Elk Hoof Disease Hits Idaho
It leads to sores, lesions, and can make elk hooves look like slippers. This is scary stuff, and it's made its way into Idaho.
Elk Hoof disease is more commonly found in Oregon and Washington where the soil is apparently perfect for this disease to thrive in but a case has been found here and who knows how wide it could spread.
According to the lmtribune.com, the disease is often fatal, leaving the animals unable to move and feed as well and likewise not as easily able to avoid predators. Their hoofs become so misformed that it pretty much leaves the elk unable to walk.
The good news is that according to the Elk Hoof Disease Fact Sheet it poses no threat to human health.
The disease is considerably new. It was first discovered back in 2000 in western Washington and it affected a significant number of elk there. That's the scary part. Once it gets in one area it can spread pretty rapidly and it's hard to control. It hit Oregon in the year 2014.
The state is setting up an online portal where residents can report sightings of elk with abnormal hoof growths or lameness. You should be able to find that portal on the Idaho Fish and Game website within the next few weeks.
Hopefully, we can keep this disease under control to help save our elk population in Idaho.