DISEASED DESERT BIGHORN

DISEASED DESERT BIGHORN

There are some sick sheep out in the wild, says Ranger Pam Tripp.  Beware…

Joshua Tree National Park has recently received a report of what appears to be a possible case of ecthyma on the bighorn sheep within the park. Lesions have been spotted and photographed on the nose of the sheep. This disease in non-lethal, but is contagious through direct contact with the animal and the affected area. Although there is rarely a chance of human contact with the bighorn sheep except during wildlife research, the following precautions are suggested to prevent transference of the disease: 1) Do not touch a sick or dead animal; 2) Report a sick or dead animal to the park’s resource division wildlife crew. As a reminder, please be aware that touching of animals in a national park is prohibited by law for the protection of both animals and humans. To report any sightings of bighorn sheep that have this disease, please contact wildlife biologists Michael Vamstad (760-367-5562) or Kristen Lalumiere (760-367-5577).

…That story was recorded before the Federal government shutdown, so you can’t call the numbers it gave, nor should you be in the Park looking for big horn sheep.  So if one shows up in your yard, don’t touch it…

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