Disease Kills Desert Bighorns

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Wildlife experts in California and Nevada are concerned about a deadly disease that is claiming the lives of a growing number of desert bighorn sheep in the Mojave National Preserve about 100 miles southwest of Las Vegas.

Officials for the National Park Service and California Department of Fish and Game say they may have to resort to killing some bighorns to prevent the outbreak from spreading through the largest herd in the 1.6 million-acre preserve.

Park Service spokeswoman Linda Slater tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://tinyurl.com/n4wx8aj) at least 20 dead sheep have been found the past month on Old Dad Mountain, about 15 miles southeast of Baker, Calif.

Tests confirmed that at least some of them died from a strain of pneumonia generally transmitted by domestic sheep and goats.