LARAMIE – Wildlife forensics. It sounds exotic, doesn’t it? But did you know the Wyoming Game and Fish Department practices wildlife forensics every day right here in Laramie? To help you learn more about this valuable resource, plan to attend the upcoming event “Wildlife Clue: Using Forensics to Solve Wildlife Mysteries.”
This free event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 22, at the University of Wyoming Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center, located at the intersection of E. Lewis Street and 10th Street in Laramie. The event will begin with a presentation about the Wildlife Forensics and Fish Health lab, and then move into the game.
During the game, you will serve as the game piece as you roll the giant dice and move around the course learning what the forensics lab staff does and how they get results to solve wildlife mysteries. The game will be limited to 25 people who must pre-register, but the lecture/presentation (beginning at 9 a.m.) is open to everyone with no registration necessary. To participate in the game, please RSVP to Robin Kepple at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-4523. Children are welcome to attend; although some of the lecture content may be difficult for them to understand, they will likely find the game enjoyable.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic and Fish Health Laboratory enhances and protects Wyoming’s fish and wildlife resources by providing the department, wildlife organizations and the public with laboratory support in the area of wildlife forensics, fish health and wildlife tooth aging. It is one of the most advanced forensic laboratories in the country and can test samples from mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, mountain lion, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and turkey.
Forensic personnel analyze physical and biological properties on hundreds of samples in response to law enforcement requests. Tests are conducted on meat/tissue samples, skulls, drillings, heads, arrows, knives, blood, hair, gut piles, clothes and numerous other samples. Results from forensic tests result in thousands of dollars in fines and restitution per year. Penalties for poachers have also included years of lost hunting privileges, community service, forfeited equipment, and jail time. Currently, the forensics laboratory is doing wildlife forensics work for 10 states, including Wyoming.