White-Tailed Deer Sick After Licking Apparent Shuttle Debris

A piece of apparent shuttle debris fell in a pen holding white-tailed deer. Now, two of those deer are sick. It happened on the "Windy B" ranch in northern Cherokee County near Cuney.

Their owner says the deer licked a piece of debris in their pen. Yesterday, one had noticeable swelling in its cheeks, and another began showing signs of stomach pain. A veterinarian gave the deer cortisone shots. The swelling has gone down some, but their owner is still afraid they might not make it.

"If the shot that we gave them doesn't work, then they'll die. Because every time they get swelled up cheeks and sore stomachs, they'll die unless you get them medication that'll reverse it."

The animals have been separated from the debris ever since the symptoms were first noticed. Since they received the injections yesterday, the swelling has slightly decreased.

The EPA has since removed the debris from the deer pen.

   Morgan Palmer, reporting.