Dead deer in the yard = fun with DNR
We live next to Patapsco State Park in Maryland. We have deer ... large numbers of almost tame deer, who regularly graze in the yard and pastures. Over the last few days, we have been aware of one fawn that was not looking well ... very small, mis-shapened (over large head for the body), dull attitude. This morning it was curled up in the yard, quite dead.
Since deer wasting disease has been reported in this area, we called the State Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) to see if they were concerned / interested in testing the body, etc. Amazingly, I connected with the right person after only 3 calls and they do indeed want to test the body and will be coming to pick up in about an hour.
But getting caller number 3 to that decision point was an interesting exercise -- he wanted to tell me it had probably been hit by a car (not likely, we are off the main roads); or that it had a heavy parasite load (possible); or that it was a genetic disorder due to inbreeding (very possible - the herd is mostly 'closed' in this area). After some pushing on my part (including telling him that we were quite capable of disposing of it if no one wanted it for testing), he finally agreed to call his supervisor for guidance, then called back to say he would be here in about an hour to pick it up.
It will be interesting to see if we ever get feedback on what the cause of death was.