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Oct 4, 2012 The Associated Press

Hit-and-run suspect sought

CHEYENNE -- Police are looking for a driver who hit a 12-year-old girl crossing the street in Cheyenne.

The girl was struck just before 8 a.m. Wednesday and taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. Her condition wasn't immediately known.

Police spokesman Dan Long said witnesses saw a 1990s model black Dodge Dakota extended cab leaving the scene. The truck may have damage on the passenger side.

The driver is described as a white male in his 40s with a slim build and a goatee.

Elk killed by lichen poisoning

A cow elk found dead near Wamsutter last month died from lichen poisoning, prompting state wildlife officials to warn hunters this fall not to shoot elk that appear weak or paralyzed.

Lichen poisoning causes elk to be paralyzed, and they typically die of starvation or predation.

Officials do not know what in the lichen causes paralysis in elk, according to a media release. In addition, officials do not know the possible health effects on humans if infected meat is eaten, said Daryl Lutz, Lander regional wildlife supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

"That's why we are discouraging people from harvesting any elk that look suspicious," Lutz said.

The state Game and Fish Department is asking people to report any elk that look sick or are behaving oddly.

Lichen poisoning has been a problem in Wyoming elk in the last decade. More than 500 elk died from lichen in the winters of 2004 and 2008.

September's case of elk lichen poisoning occurred earlier in the year than past ones, which may be because of dry conditions and lack of food, Lutz said.

Wildlife across Wyoming is suffering from this year's drought. White-tailed deer in the Black Hills area are dying from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, spread by biting gnats and made worse during dry years. Deer and antelope will enter winter thinner than normal and more susceptible to harsh conditions, according to wildlife officials.

Over the last few years, game managers have attempted to keep elk away from areas known to contain lichen.

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