West County residents report seeing zombie deer

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WEST ST.LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Oh dear me and the rest of Missouri, the zombie deer arrival is upon us.

'Well it's a viral disease and it can be fatal to deer,' says Dan Zarlenga, Missouri Department of Conservation.  'Some of the symptoms might be emaciation or lethargic activity.  Sometimes they'll salivate and sometimes they'll have swollen neck and glands and act very strange so I guess that's where the term zombie deer is coming in.'

Bite your tongue if you don’t think your narrator to be overzealous, what with the zombie deer leading the apocalyptic autumn.

But this condition is very real and known more commonly as blue tongue.

'Since the disease is transferred by these midge flies they often live around water,' says Zarlenga.  'This time of year when it can be dry and there's less water sources available.  Then, the deer tend to congregate around these few water sources that are available and then they get bitten by these midge flies and that's how the disease is transmitted to them.'

So our dry end of summer has unearthed the undead deer.

'The disease is cyclical,' says Zarlenga.  'It usually happens every September, October and even early August.  A couple of years ago when we had that big drought in 2012 the deer were already stressed going into that season and then was especially dry in the fall so yes we did have a bigger hit to our deer herd that particular year for the disease.'

But fear not you red-blooded Americans, because a cold-hearted white tail is not coming to bite you.

Besides, the disease is nontransferable to humans.