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Columbia debris may have sickened animals

Article

Austin, Texas-Debris from the Columbia space shuttle is being looked at as the cause of possibly sickening three cows and two captive deer on three premises in Cherokee County, Texas.

Austin, Texas-

Debris from the Columbia space shuttle is being looked at as the cause of possibly sickening three cows and two captive deer on three premises in Cherokee County, Texas.

The animals are being held under movement restriction by the Texas AnimalHealth Commission (TAHC), pending evaluation and diagnosis of the animals'sickness.

They are reported to have swollen tongues and heads, and stiff necks.

"Debris from the Columbia was found on the captive deer premise,and we want to learn if the animals might have licked it or come into closecontact with a chemical residue from the pieces," says Dr. James Lenarduzzi,acting executive director for the TAHC. "A full evaluation is underway to determine the cause of this illness, as we must know if we have adisease situation, or if this is a response to a hazardous chemical substance."

According to official reports, more than 600 pieces of shuttle debrishave been found in Cherokee County.

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