Zion Visitors Asked To Report Excessive Coughing By Bighorns

Jul 31, 2018

Zion National Park visitors are being asked to alert wildlife biologists if they encounter bighorn sheep coughing a lot.

Excessive coughing is a symptom of pneumonia and park officials and the state Division of Wildlife Resources said Tuesday that a bacterium commonly associated with pneumonia was found July 20 in a bighorn sheep ewe.

Officials say the ewe was euthanized for testing after showing signs of illness.

The agencies say it's the first positive test for bacterial pneumonia in the park's herd but that samples have been collected from additional sick bighorns.

UDWR Bighorn Sheep Biologist Jace Taylor says all variations of bacterial pneumonia aren't lethal to bighorns and that so far no bighorn sheep in the Zion herd are known to have died from pneumonia.