TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Officials say a sick deer found in northeast Oklahoma was dying of a bleeding disease spread by a biting gnat.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation biologist Craig Endicott told the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/NFC1kG) 10 other deer found dead near the Verdigris River likely had the same ailment, known as epizootic hemorrhagic disease. The virus is spread by a biting gnat.

Eight deer were found last week after area residents reported seeing sick and dead deer in the river.

A landowner was instructed to kill a sick deer and samples from the animal were sent to the Oklahoma Animal Diagnostic and Disease Lab at Oklahoma State University. The samples tested positive for the disease.

Wildlife Department big game biologist Erik Bartholomew says deer deaths from the disease aren't uncommon.


Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com