The mystery of why hundreds of elk in Wyoming were suddenly falling to the ground dead has been solved. At least 289 elk have died in south-central Wyoming since early February. They slump to the ground and are unable get up again, so that many of them eventually die of thirst. Unlike recent deaths of wild game in other areas, these elk are not dying from a version of Mad Cow Disease.
Mead Gruver writes that elk eat different foods than antelope and deer, so scientists thought there might be some toxins in their food. State wildlife biologist Greg Hiatt says, “The thing that really makes this unusual is we have about 50 elk that are about 10 miles north of this herd?and they’re fine.”