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Zion Bighorn Healthy… For Now

Zion Bighorn Healthy… For Now
May 21
09:49 2019

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials say they are surprised that bighorn sheep in Zion National Park are not afflicted with pneumonia.

In the latest testing, no sheep tested positive for the highly-contagious disease.
Jason Nicholes with the Division comments, “It was really surprising.  We expected to see somewhere between 50 percent and 80 percent to test positive.”
Park sheep began exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia in the summer of 2018.  Herds outside the park have suffered pneumonia mortality rates from 20 percent to 100 percent.
There is no vaccine and no cure for the Movi bacteria found in earlier testing.
Lambs born this year are symptom-free.
Fifty sheep were taken out of Zion and transplanted elsewhere in 2017.  Nicholes say the fewer herd numbers could be contributing to the sheeps’ health.

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