Yellowstone Rams Catch Disease Causing Unsightly Mouth Sores

Condition widespread among wild bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains

By Tristan Scott

BOZEMAN — Yellowstone National Park officials say multiple bighorn rams have caught a viral disease that causes unsightly mouth sores.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the park’s videographer snapped images in November of rams with the sores.

Officials confirmed the videographer’s pictures Monday, saying the rams have sore mouth disease, a condition widespread among wild bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains. It is also common in domestic sheep and goats.

Officials say animals usually recover, but death can occur in severe outbreaks, particularly among lambs that can’t feed because of the mouth sores.

The disease can be transmitted to people if a person directly touches an infected sheep.

Yellowstone biologists are monitoring the infected animals.

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