The state is stepping up its efforts to share information about reports of hoof disease among southwest Washington elk. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a meeting later this month and has launched a website.
An increasing number of lame elk or elk with overgrown or missing hooves have been seen in southwest Washington. At times, multiple animals in a group have been reported limping and showing signs of hoof disease, such as deformed hooves or club hooves.
The department is working with specialists in other natural-resource agencies and universities to gain a better understanding of what is causing the hoof disease.
Citizen reports of elk with hoof disease will assist wildlife biologists in estimating the frequency and range of the condition, said a department official.
Public information meeting: 6-8 p.m. Sept. 17, Cowlitz PUD auditorium, 961 12th Ave., Longview. It will include a brief presentation about the elk hoof disease, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Online: The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is providing an online reporting tool for citizens to report affected animals at wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_rot. The site offers information on the disease, as well as the reporting tool for those who observe elk with signs of hoof disease.