Fri May 17, 2013
Mysterious Virus Plagues Ammunition Plant's Famous Salamander
A virus is infecting salamanders at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant near Baraboo.
The amphibians have a lot of research value, and may be moved.
Unlike most salamanders, the ones which live at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant don't grow legs and walk on land. But some of them have been stricken with a mysterious virus. Officials are thinking of moving them, but they're concerned about what would happen if the amphibians take the virus with them.
Mark Aquino is the director of the Department of Natural Resources' south-central region.
“The research that's being conducted on these salamanders is primarily to try to find out why it is they don't progress through their life cycle, and what specific factors lead to the condition. As well as, there's some interest in medical research that could possibly be applicable to human health care sometime in the future.”
Aquino says the ammunition manufacturing that happened at the site in the Vietnam era is not the cause of the salamanders' rare condition. The National Wildlife Health Care Center in Madison will conduct new tests on the amphibians.