Sore Mouth Disease Discovered in YNP Sheep
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 12, 2017
Bighorn rams in Yellowstone are spreading a contagious disease, and Park officials are warning people to not approach or touch wildlife.
Sore mouth disease is thought to be responsible for an illness observed among bighorn rams in Yellowstone. The illness is transmittable to people if they come into direct contact with infected sheep.
Sore mouth disease is common in farmed sheep and goats and widespread in wild bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains from Alaska to California. Generally, affected animals recover but deaths can occur in severe outbreaks, especially with young animals who can’t feed because of the sores.
Officials say that so far, only breeding age rams in the park have been observed with lesions. The disease is difficult to control in bighorn sheep. Park biologists will continue to monitor the infected animals.