A West Virginia wildlife official says nearly one-third of the elk herd transported from Arizona two years ago died from a parasite. White-tailed deer carry but apparently are unaffected by brainworms, which can be deadly to other antlered animals.

Division of Natural Resources' elk project leader Randy Kelley told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that during grazing, the elk accidentally consumed snails that had eaten brainworm eggs.

There were 46 elk transported from Arizona in March 2018 to Logan County.

The elk underwent a 120-day quarantine period mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which included an additional disease test. Kelley says the quarantine weakened the elk physically.

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