Website Feedback Button
Fish and Game Home

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Parasites and Diseases
Papillomas (Warts)

A Field Guide


caption follows
Moose with numerous warts.

What causes warts?
  • Warts in animals are caused by viruses similar to those that cause warts in people.
  • Papillomas are spread between animals by direct contact.

Where do warts occur?
  • Warts are found on the skin of moose or caribou throughout Alaska.
  • They are most common in animals younger than 2 years old.

What are the signs of warts?
  • Affected animals are usually in good body condition.
  • Warts are often found on the head but can occur on other parts of the body.
  • In caribou and moose, the warts are dark lumps that vary in size from 1/3 to 6 inches. There may be only one or many and the surface may be rough or smooth.

How can I protect myself?
  • It is extremely rare but not impossible to get a skin lesion from infected animals.

Can I eat the meat?
  • Meat from infected animals is suitable for human consumption.
  • Trim off parts containing warts.

Samples to collect
  • Warts
  • To report an occurrence or to submit a sample for identification/analysis, contact the DWC Wildlife Disease Surveillance reporting hotline 907-328-8354, send an email to or visit your local ADF&G office.
Please take a moment to help us improve your experience at the ADF&G website.
How did you arrive at our website?
Why did you visit our website today?
Did you find what you were looking for?
How easy or hard was it to find?
Very Easy Very Hard
Please provide any other comments or suggestions about your experience on the ADF&G website.

Having Trouble with this form?