ELLENSBURG - A portion of the Quilomene bighorn heard that was killed by Fish and Wildlife officials for fear that they might spread a bacteria that causes pneumonia have all tested negative for the illness.

The state lethally removed and tested 12 bighorns from a remote area of the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, where a domestic ewe infected with a pathogen was seen amongst them. The domestic ewe was lethally removed a week prior.

Wildlife biologists sent lungs and nasal swabs from nine bighorn rams and three ewes to the Washington State University’s veterinary diagnostic lab to test for the presence of the bacteria. Tests from all 12 bighorns were negative.

WDFW says they decided to kill and test animals that were at the highest risk of being infected based on their proximity to the ewe.

Starting next week, WDFW will begin conducting systematic searches of the area by helicopter to monitor the herd with the possibility of capturing and testing animals.

(6) comments

Moses Holian

Canudiggit well put and well received. Thanks for the educated input.


Moses Holian There was a subspecies of big horn sheep that were on the endangered species list but theses are not them. The numbers are actually good and they are a game animal. WDFW's main concern should be regulating the balance of out animals. The sportsmen are the ones who are paying for this and should be utilised when things like this come up. I think they should have opened it up as a special draw and one lucky winner would have the chance to kill it while giving WDFW a chance to test it. Also I know they aren't allowed to let the meat go to waste but I wonder where it goes. I heard that they cant give it to food banks anymore .

Moses Holian

Didn't WDFW transplant those animals after the sportsman wiped them off the face of the earth to start with?


It’s sad that state fish and game take these animals from Washington sportsman. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us and the state uses uses our money to remove them from helicopters ? I’m very happy that they tested negative for this disease but at what cost did this hit for the sportsman?


Or, perhaps they could be allowed to live? Tranquilizer darts would allow for a full disease test. Arguing over who gets to kill them is kinda sick.

@the real JohnQPublic

That's a good idea about tranquilizing. Hadn't thought of that one.

Hunting pays for conservation, so if WDFW sold licenses, that'd be money that sportsman bring to conservation. Pittman-Robertson Act is a great example of forced conservation.

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