Several deer in Killarney National Park display symptoms consistent with fungal poisoning

Image by Christopher Browne.

Several red deer in Killarney National Park are displaying symptoms which are consistent with a form of fungal poisoning.

At a recent rut walk many young deer were seen struggling to walk and had deformities on their antlers.

These symptoms are consistent with a condition called Perennial Ryegrass Staggers, although the cause has yet to be confirmed.

It’s understood that seven young red deer, which are a protected species, are displaying these symptoms.

The cause has yet to be determined but the Irish Deer Commission believes it could be Perennial Ryegrass Staggers, which is a form of fungal poisoning.

The Irish Deer Commission says it would be worrying if it was confirmed to be the case.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht told Radio Kerry News that there isn’t ryegrass in Killarney National Park.

However, having observed this behaviour recently, the National Park and Wildlife Service is following the appropriate veterinary protocols; the NPWS state they will not comment further until tests are completed.

Public Relations Officer with the Irish Deer Commission, Damien Hannigan says this type of poisoning is a cruel twist of nature.

He adds that it’s very upsetting to see the young deer in a distressed state: