Photo above is “April” in 2016 with her fawn. She appears to be healthy.
April was one of the 30 does collared for radio-telemetry monitoring (by the Key Deer Refuge and Texas A&M researchers) after the screwworm epidemic resolved. This was done mostly to monitor the doe’s birth wounds and the fawn’s umbilical area to make sure screwworm was completely eradicated – and it was. (Photo taken March 2, 2017 when pregnant with “Tera”, born on Earth Day – the first fawn born in the area in 2017.)
April’s story is about an unfortunate doe that contracted Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP), also known as “Johne’s disease” named after a German veterinarian. It is a fatal gastrointestinal disease that is contagious from one animal to another, spread from feces contaminated water or grass or even from mom within the uterus. The animal can carry the disease for months or even years before symptoms start showing.
Above you will notice April is starting to lose weight. Photo 4/30/17.
The animal loses weight even though it has a good appetite. Part of the small intestine becomes inflamed and thickened preventing normal nutrient absorption.
Here is April with a buck on August 3, 2017. (She was struck and killed by a car 2 days later.)
There is no reasonable treatment. Save Our Key Deer, INC. will be developing and funding research to help determine how much Johne’s disease has spread throughout the endangered population of Key Deer.
Your membership and donation will make this research possible! On behalf of the entire Board of directors we would like to thank you.