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Virus infecting salamanders at old Badger Army Ammo Plant

SAUK CITY, WI (WTAQ) - A virus is infecting salamanders in reservoirs at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant north of Sauk City.

The Baraboo News-Republic says it’s raising questions about whether the salamanders should be moved elsewhere when the old plant is destroyed.

DNR regional director Mark Aquino says his agency is still trying to determine the extent of the virus. The National Wildlife Health Care in Madison will conduct new tests on the amphibians.

Some of the salamanders could be donated for future research, and others may end up at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Researchers have studied the salamanders because of a rare ability to display their youth.

They were first discovered at the site 20 years ago. The Badger ammunition plant was active during the Vietnam War, and for a short time after that.

The DNR has been working on a plan to convert part of the property into a natural area with recreational opportunities.