HARRISBURG — The mystery surrounding the deaths of perhaps two dozen deer in upper Dauphin County might have been solved, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Preliminary test results have come back for three deer picked up in the Powell’s Valley area, and all three had one or more types of pneumonia, the Game Commission said in a press release Monday.
Further testing to check for the presence of other diseases has not yet returned results, the Game Commission says, but it appears pneumonia was present in the local herd, and the smaller, weaker animals succumbed to the disease.
The dehydration symptoms apparent in the deer initially examined by the Game Commission also could be attributed to pneumonia, the Commission says.
Pneumonia is a rare occurrence in deer, according to the Game Commission, which said it does not know why it might have cropped up in the area in this case.
The Commission says reports of dead and sickly deer in Powell’s Valley have tapered off in recent weeks, which could indicate the problem has been alleviated.
Anyone in the area that encounters a sickly looking deer, or finds one that appears to have died from unapparent causes, is asked to contact the Game Commission’s Southeast Region Office at (610) 926-3136.