RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- The Nevada Department of Wildlife is worried about the health of desert bighorn sheep living in the River Mountains between the city of Henderson and Lake Mead because some biologists are concerned the bighorn sheep might have pneumonia.
Biologists say they have observed sheep exhibiting symptoms like coughing and nasal discharge. Members of the public have reported similar observations; however, these symptoms alone are not enough to make a reliable diagnosis. They also are indicative of other less threatening illnesses.
A necropsy is an autopsy that is performed on animals; therefore, NDOW biologists will need to euthanize one or more animals in order to complete the testing process.
Additional factors fueling biologists’ concerns are the discoveries of sheep carcasses in the River Mountain that have tested positive for the bacteria Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Research has shown that Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae along with Pasteurella bacteria is strongly associated with pneumonia outbreaks in populations of free-ranging bighorn sheep throughout the western United States.