Psoroptes Turn up in British Columbia Bighorn

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According to Global BC, local wildlife biologists have found a single case of "Psoroptes" a skin boring mite in visibly ill bighorn sheep. The mites cause mange in sheep and can be highly contagious.

The sheep was very thin and weak and covered with scabs. Wildlife biologists are worried the highly contagious disease may spread and are now keeping a close eye on the bighorn population. Brian Harris, a wildlife biologist with the Ministry of Environment, says it is important to find out how widespread the disease is, where it originated from and where it is expanding to.


hunter25's picture

I agree that it's almost

I agree that it's almost unbelievable the number of things that keep turning up. A disease that has not been seen in 100 years just suddenly turns up with a severe case in one sheep? I think the question of where did it come from is highly important in cases like this. Here in Colorado we have had problems as well but with different diseases. According to the Colorado website it says that bighorns are highly susceptible to parasitic diseases. Kind of scary as these animals have never had huge populations to help them get through the tough times.

I hope they get this under control quickly and keep it from spreading to the other herds. I know money is an issue like Jaybe said but all in all it's just sad to see such a majestic animal suffer like that.

jaybe's picture

Whew - where will the list of

Whew - where will the list of diseases that affect our big game herds end? We've got bovine tuberculosis, chronic wasting disease, blue tongue, tape worms, lung worms, round worms - and now psoroptes! I can't even pronounce that one!

I'd be pretty sure that British Columbia is going to try to get on top of this one, simply because of the economic value that bighorn sheep represent. Some of the prices I hear that hunters are willing to pay for a crack at one of these big boys is absolutely amazing in my thinking.

There was a time when animal diseases were simply left to run their course. But now the sport of big game hunting has become such a part of every state's economy that they find it necessary to spend perhaps more money on the problem than the resulting loss would be if they left it alone. But that's the way it seems to work in modern economics - "spend yourself rich and save yourself poor" (a philosophy introduced in the early 1900's by someone) - now the current philosphy of many progressive economists.

I hope that they figure out what's causing this disease and are able to get it under control for the sake of the bighorn herd in British Columbia.