A wildlife officer with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shot and killed an elk after it displayed unusually aggressive behavior. Sgt. Mark DePew suspected the animal had brainworm so he put it down at the scene.
“The elk had that snowmobile trail on lockdown. There were snowmobiles on either side of him, and he just got in the middle of the trail and wouldn’t let anybody go by,” DePew told MLive Michigan.
Wildlife officials confirmed brainworm in Michigan six times between 2012 and 2016. The parasite creates issues in the nervous system, causing a noticeable change in behavior. Pathologists will examine the elk’s brain to try and find the actual worm.
(Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources)