Transplanted Elk Could Be Source of Brucellosis in Campbell County

Laramie, WY – The announcement last week of two brucellosis cases in Campbell County came as a shock to experts. The disease isn't supposed to be a threat to cattle in that part of the state, only around the elk feed-grounds of the Greater Yellowstone Area, where previous cases were found. But that may still be where the disease came from. Cattle could easily end up as the source of this infection, but there is a nearby elk herd. A herd that isn't actually native to Campbell County, according to longtime Game and Fish Wildlife Veterinarian Tom Thorne. He says the herd was transplanted, probably from Greater Yellowstone back in the 1950s. He says it's possible the transplanted elk brought brucellosis with them and it's been there all along. He says that's the most likely explanation if the disease is found in those elk. But if elk away from the feed-grounds are carriers, he says there should have been more cases like this in Wyoming and across the west.