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.