Mysterious Deaths of Two Dozen Pennsylvania Deer Solved

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The mystery surrounding the deaths of perhaps two dozen deer in Pennsylvania might have been solved.

Preliminary test results have come back for three deer picked up in the Powell’s Valley in upper Dauphin County, and all three had one or more types of pneumonia. Further testing to check for the presence of other diseases has not yet returned results.

But in any case, it appears pneumonia was present in the local herd and the smaller, weaker animals – characteristics of many of those that were reported dead – succumbed to the disease. The dehydration symptoms apparent in the deer initially examined by the Game Commission also could be attributed to pneumonia.

Pneumonia is a rare occurrence in deer, and the reasons it might have cropped up in the area are unknown.

Reports of dead and sickly deer in Powell’s Valley have tapered off in recent weeks, which could indicate the problem has been alleviated.

The Game Commission continues to encourage those in the area who see deer that appear to be sick or encounter deer that have died from unapparent causes to report them to the Southeast Region Office at 610-926-3136.

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