Wildlife biologists are shooting the entire bighorn sheep population on Goslin Mountain in Utah's northeastern corner in an effort to stop a fatal and contagious disease from spreading to other nearby wild herds.
Twenty-five Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep from the Goslin Mountain herd have been shot by biologists in the steep canyon country north of the Green River and east of Dutch John in the past month. Many more have died from bacterial pneumonia, a malady that is striking a severe blow to bighorn herds in Montana, Nevada and Washington.
"Some states let the disease take its course when the herd is isolated, but we have documented cases of rams from the Goslin herd contacting other sheep, and we don't want to risk infecting nearby herds and having a much larger die-off," said Leslie McFarlane, the wildlife disease specialist for the Utah Division of Wildlife.
Reprinted in part from the Salt Lake Tribune