Rawlins Elk Deaths Still A Mystery

Casper, WY – Wildlife biologists continue to study last winter's elk die-off south of Rawlins. Officials know a commong lichen the elk ate is what caused the illness. What they don't know is exactly what the toxic compound in the lichen was, whether that compound is present in lichen elsewhere in Wyoming and if other animals are at risk. Hunting this fall has been impacted with fewer licenses offered in the affected area near Rawlins. Walt Cook of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says as far as they know, those elk are safe to eat because no other animals were affected. Cook says coyotes in the area that fed on the dead elk carcasses didn't seem to be bothered. He says the Game and Fish will be watching the area next winter to see if the elk return.