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Bighorn sheep on Utah’s Antelope Island dying from disease

South Island Trail Antelope Island. (Courtesy: Robert Williamson)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Division of Wildlife Resources has found that a herd of bighorn sheep on Antelope Island has somehow contracted a devastating respiratory disease and is dying off.

About 150 animals were counted among the herd last year. But KSL-TV reports biologists on Wednesday flew over the island and found only 26 sheep left.

Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Mark Hadley says “This disease has taken all of the sheep,” and there are no vaccinations or medications that can treat it.

Hadley says bighorn sheep contract the disease from domestic sheep and goats.

Hadley says the division is unsure how the disease got into the herd because there are no domestic sheep and goats on the island that officials are aware of.

The division is working with Utah State Parks to try to figure out how the sheep contracted the disease.

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Information from: KSL-TV, http://www.ksl.com/

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