Posted: May 28, 2013 2:15 PM
BOZEMAN - A bison that was found dead in the Yellowstone River did not die of disease related to sheep in the area, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Results from lab tests show the bison did not die from malignant catarrhal fever. The exact cause of death could not be determined from tissue samples, but there was no sign of disease, according to FWP. The only evidence of abnormality on the carcass that was visible to FWP Wildlife Veterinarian Jennifer Ramsey was trauma to the animal's pelvis, a news release states.
Two other bison were found dead in the river. Test results on those bison are expected in one to two weeks.
"Within the past two weeks, three dead bison were spotted in the Yellowstone River. With two separate efforts, FWP crews were able to retrieve tissue samples from each bison: the first near Emigrant, and the other two closer to Gardiner. Ramsey also documented trauma to these other two bison in the form of broken ribs in one, and a fractured pelvis in the other. She believes these traumas to have been suffered before death," the release states.
Due to the introduction of domestic sheep in the Gardiner area, FWP looked into the possibility of malignant catarrhal fever in these bison. Malignant catarrhal fever is a viral disease which may be carried by domestic sheep without any symptoms, but can cause fatal infections in bison.