2 Big Horn Elk Show Brucellosis in System

Wildlife officials say two elk have tested positive for having the brucellosis disease in their system for the third straight year in northern Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains, as was the case in 2012 and last year.

Bud Stewart of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department described the samples as seropositive.

The past cases, he said, have come from samples submitted by hunters in Hunt Area 40. This year, one was in the same hunt area and the other was close by, on the south end of elk Hunt Area 39. Brucellosis has not been documented in livestock in the areas. The disease can cause pregnant livestock to prematurely abort their young.

Stewart said the number of usable brucellosis testing samples submitted by hunters was up this year by 10 percent, from 65-75-percent. That means, he said, the hunters are keeping the samples cool before turning them in to game officials. He said instructions on how to collect and store the samples come with each kit, which can be picked up at any of the regional Game and Fish offices, like the one where he works in Sheridan.

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