Farmers in Texas said Thursday they were shocked to learn that they may have to take steps to prevent the deer from roaming the property.
The deer is an invasive species that’s been known to eat livestock, farm equipment and even people’s homes.
A federal investigation revealed that it was on a path to the Lone Star State from Mexico when it was spotted in the western part of Texas.
It was eventually caught by a farmer near San Antonio.
“We’re in a very vulnerable period of time,” said Tom Dorman, president of the Texas Association of Farmer’s Associations.
“It’s going to be a long season for farmers.
It’s a very big problem.”
The Texas Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services told the Houston Chronicle that it is investigating whether there is a public health threat.
“I’m not going to comment on that because the investigation is ongoing,” the agency said in a statement.
The agency added that it will look into the possibility of charging the farmer with “unlawful capture of an animal.”
The state of Texas is one of the largest producers of elk in the country, but is also one of America’s most rancid.