CHICAGO (CBS) — It sounds like a scene out of The Walking Dead, but experts say “zombie deer” are very real and popping up around the Midwest.
So far they’ve been found in 17 counties across the state including DeKalb, Grundy, Kankakee, Will, and McHenry counties in our area.
The “zombie deer” actually suffer from chronic wasting disease. It erodes the brain of the animal so it salivates and acts lethargic — sort of zombie-like.
While there have been no cases in humans, experts are concerned it could spread to people.
“It’s a disease that you can’t get rid of,” said Dale Garner, wildlife chief for Iowa’s Division of Natural Resources. “There’s no cure so far. So as long as you have deer on the landscape, and it continues to spread from animal to animal, you’ll probably have more.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise people not to touch road kill.
Hunters should wear gloves when dressing deer and should have the meat tested before eating it.