GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. (AP) — Wildlife experts are searching for the virus that causes COVID-19 in deer, bears, moose and wolves in Minnesota’s north woods. They are among researchers around the world trying to figure out how and where wildlife is spreading the coronavirus at a time when international health agencies are calling for greater tracking of infected animals. Scientists are deeply concerned that the virus could evolve within animal populations – potentially spawning dangerous viral mutants that could jump back to people, spread among us and reignite what seems like a waning pandemic. They point out the virus has already leaped from humans to animals and back again.
A wildlife team covers a young buck's head with a cloth to help calm it before testing the deer for the coronavirus and taking other biological samples in Grand Portage, Minn. on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Scientists are concerned that the COVID-19 virus could evolve within animal populations – potentially spawning dangerous viral mutants that could jump back to people, spread among us and reignite what for now seems like a waning crisis. (AP Photo/Laura Ungar)