The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says that the first phase of chronic wasting disease sampling of deer has revealed a 23 percent prevalence rate in Newton and Boone counties.
Animals with the neurological disease often stay away from herds, may lose their fear of humans and can eventually lose bodily functions.
The commission said Tuesday that to determine the prevalence of the disease among deer, samples were taken March 14-24 within a 125,000-acre area ranging from 5 miles west of Ponca to 5 miles east of Pruitt, and 10 miles across. Of 266 randomly collected wild deer, 62 were found to have the fatal disease.
Including results from the sampled area, the commission says that 82 animals have tested positive for the disease since it was first confirmed in Arkansas Feb. 23 in an elk in Newton County.