Coughing bighorns at Zion National Park, Help Needed
Pneumonia detected in the Zion bighorn sheep herd. Visitors asked to report sick sheep to the park’s biologists.
Zion National Park – -(AmmoLand.com)- If you see coughing bighorn sheep during your visit to Zion National Park, please let the park biologists know. While some minor coughing is natural, excessive coughing is a symptom of bacterial pneumonia, a disease that can cause significant concern for populations of bighorn sheep.
Biologists at Zion National Park identified a bighorn sheep ewe on July 20,2018, that was coughing and showing signs of illness. Shortly thereafter, the ewe was safely euthanized for testing. Lab tests of the ewe’s respiratory system showed the presence of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, a bacterium commonly associated with pneumonia in bighorn sheep.
While the bighorn herd in and around Zion National Park has been tested regularly, this is the first positive test for Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Since the sighting of the initial coughing ewe, additional sick bighorns have been found in the park, and more samples have been collected.
Zion National Park is working closely with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) to monitor the bighorns in and around Zion to collect more information on the spread of the …Read the Rest