Brucellosis Could Be Killing Bighorn Sheep

Bozeman, MT – Brucellosis may play some role in the mortality rate of bighorn sheep in and around Yellowstone National Park. A Wyoming Game and Fish Department researcher says brucellosis has been confirmed for the first time in bighorns. Speaking to members of the GReater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee, Terry Kreeger said an accidental exposure to brucellosis killed most of the big horn sheep at a research facility in southeastern Wyoming. He also says a wild bighorn in the Jackson area has shown possible signs of exposure to the disease. The illness previously was reported in domestic sheep, but most often is associated with the deer and elk in Yellowstone. It rarely causes death in most animals, but for bighorns it appears to be more serious.