And outbreak of a rare bacterial pneumonia near Pinedale, Wyoming, has killed at least 200 antelope so far amid worries it could spread further.
The disease, called mycoplasma bovis, so far has infected only antelope, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. It’s not known to be a threat to pets, livestock, other wildlife or people.
The outbreak is north of the Jonah Field, and the Jonah Energy company is watching for any signs of its spread, company vice president and Pinedale area resident Paul Ulrich told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.
“We’re well aware of it (the outbreak) at Jonah Energy, and the Pinedale community is well aware of it too,” he said. “We’re coordinating with Game and Fish. We’ve directed our personnel in the field to monitor what’s going on with antelope and report any signs of disease to the Game and Fish.
“We have a large population of antelope in this area. We love our Wyoming wildlife and we want to do what we can to protect them,” he added.
It’s not yet known where the outbreak originated or exactly how far it’s spread, Game and Fish reported Wednesday.
There was one previous large outbreak of the disease among antelope near Gillette that killed hundreds of the animals during the winter of 2019-2020, according to the agency.
Wildlife agents are watching for other outbreaks in antelope across the state, according to Game and Fish.
Last Year Bad For Disease
Wildlife has suffered serious outbreaks of other diseases recently. Widespread infections of the viral disease EHD, or blue tongue disease, killed many deer and antelope in parts of Wyoming last year.
Game and Fish cut about 8,000 antelope hunting tags and 3,300 mule deer tags from quotas for the fall 2022 hunting seasons because so many animals had died from that disease.