A friend “shared” this photo on Facebook. It was accompanied by the following text:
Cancerous deer shot in Dimock PA. Lived near a stream where fracturing water had been said to be leaking. Is fracking really “safe” for us? EPA’s testing of water in Dimock found several carcinogenic and neurotoxic drilling chemicals such as arsenic, barium, ethylene glycol and manganese.
Snopes.com has described how this is an actual photo but the description is false, a common ploy to shock people into noticing an underlying issue.
Fracking, a method to enhance the production of natural gas wells by injecting pressurized fluid into rock, is under scrutiny in northern Pennsylvania towns currently experiencing a gas rush. Communities have been affected by water well pollution that may or may not be related to the practice.
This controversy prompted the circulation of the photograph displayed above, which supposedly ties the fracking activities in Dimock to the discovery of a “cancerous” deer in that area. However, the image has nothing to do with Dimock or fracking; it’s an example of cutaneous fibromas (warts) that occur among white-tailed deer, a phenomenon caused by a virus.
This disease is natural to white tailed deer populations and not related to an environmental pollution issue.
There have been no wildlife disease outbreaks related to fracking ANYWHERE in the world. This photo is serving as propaganda for anti-fracking, anti-gas advocates.
Warning: Graphic picture