Mandan man concerned after spotting dead animals alongside river

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Scott Klein was out one morning on his kayak fishing.

“I’d see all the animals down here. They would be drinking or doing whatever, going back through the trees early morning,“ Klein said.

It wasn’t long before he noticed something unusual.

He found at least eight dead deer and a dead skunk after he says he saw them drinking river water.

“I didn’t really know what was going on right away,” Klein added.

He contacted North Dakota Game and Fish explaining his findings and the location of the animals.

“They went and retrieved the skunk carcass from what I was told. They wanted to know where it was at,” Klein added.

The dead animals were found along the side of South Heart River.

“Whatever is happening here is really sad,” Klein said.

Officials with Game and Fish say epizootic hemorrhagic disease is what caused the deaths of the deer.

“It’s a virus that is spread by a small biting midge or a small fly,” Game and Fish Department Assistant Chief of Wildlife Division, Casey Anderson said.

Anderson said it’s unusual to see so many deer deaths in one location in this part of the state.

Right now the cause of the skunk’s death is unknown.

“We will keep an eye on the reports. It will help us determine what is happening with the population,” Anderson said.

“I wish they could figure something out with this, I think it’s getting really bad,” Klein added.

If dead animals are found along the side of the lake, Anderson says to report it to the wildlife department for proper disposal.

Experts with the Wildlife Divison say that a killing frost is what helps cut down on EHD.

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