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Infected Yellowstone elk might be killed

July 7, 2008 |  1:51 pm

Elk_in_yellowstone

Federal officials are considering killing or capturing elk in Yellowstone National Park infected with a livestock disease that's spreading to the area's bison, the Associated Press reports. A tentative proposal, drafted by federal officials, sets a goal of eliminating the disease brucellosis. The AP reports:

      Government agencies have killed more than 6,000 wild bison leaving Yellowstone over the last two decades in an attempt to contain brucellosis, which causes pregnant cattle to abort their young.

      Cattle in parts of Wyoming and Montana where bison haven’t roamed for decades are being infected, and livestock officials in both states are now targeting elk as the cause.

     “We’ve got way too many elk,” said John Scully, a rancher living in Montana’s Madison Valley. “Clearly with so many elk, the risk rises. We need to reduce their numbers.”

-- Francisco Vara-Orta

Photo: Thomas Lee / Associated Press

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