Zombie Deer are here in Indiana. It was only a matter of time until they made their way into the Hoosier state.

A deadly disease that affects white-tailed deer has been spreading in the United States. The disease known as Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been dubbed as "zombie deer disease." CWD has been detected in wild deer in 33 states, including all states bordering Indiana. Last week, the first "zombie deer" case in Indiana was reported. Here's what you need to know.

What is "Zombie Deer Disease?"

According to the CDC, Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal, neurological illness occurring in North American cervids (members of the deer family), including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. Why is this disease so scary? Here are a few reasons.

  • There is no vaccine and no cure. It is 100% fatal.
  • It has an incubation period of up to 24 months. That means a deer could get infected and walk around for two years, spreading it to other deer, before any symptoms start to show.
  • The most noticeable symptom is progressive weight loss - hence the "wasting" in the name.
  • The disease causes the animal's brain to degenerate, leading to abnormal behavior similar to someone with dementia. People who have seen infected animals say they appear to be in a "zombie-like" state.
Get our free mobile app

Thankfully, there have been no reported cases of the disease in humans. However, if you harvest a deer that tests positive for CWD, the CDC also recommends not eating the meat.

First Zombie Deer Case in Indiana

According to WANE, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed late last week that a deer harvested in LaGrange County was afflicted with chronic wasting disease. The Indiana white-tailed deer was a male and was confirmed positive for CWD by two independent tests.

How to Report a Deer with CWD in Indiana

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources urges Hoosiers to report any sick or dead wildlife on their website. That information can be found by clicking here.

As you know, Indiana’s deer hunting seasons run from mid-September until the end of January. So, when it comes to making sure the deer you have harvested during hunting season doesn't have CWD, WANE says:

During hunting season, to have their harvested deer tested for CWD, hunters can drop off its head in a freezer outside a Fish & Wildlife Area or State Fish Hatchery office or schedule appointments to bring their harvested deer to these sites to be tested. All CWD sampling locations can be viewed through an interactive map. Alternatively, people may submit samples directly to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) at Purdue University for a fee. More information and submission forms are available on the ADDL website.


LOOK: Where people in Indiana are moving to most

Stacker compiled a list of states where people from Indiana are moving to the most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Indiana

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Indiana using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

LOOK: Which movies were filmed in Indiana?

Stacker compiled a list of movies filmed in Indiana using data from Movie Locations, with additional information about each film collected from IMDb.

Gallery Credit: Stacker