Seven more elk sent to slaughter
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
February 13, 2008
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department was successful at a second elk trapping session at the Muddy Creek elk feedground near Boulder Monday, catching 158 animals.
WG&FD brucellosis information specialist Christopher Colligan reported that of the 158 animals trapped, 41 were females that were processed for brucellosis testing. In addition, one cow elk that had escaped the elk trap earlier in the month, and had tested seropositive for the disease, was also recaptured. Three other seroposotive escapees remain at large on the feedground.
Of the 41 new elk tested for brucellosis, six of the animals tested seropositive. A total of seven cow elk were transported to an eastern Idaho facility for slaughter Tuesday morning, according to Colligan.
This is the third year of the elk test-and-removal pilot project for the Pinedale Elk Herd. Elk on each of two feedgrounds are trapped and tested for brucellosis, a highly contagious disease of the reproductive tract. This year’s two separate capture efforts on the Muddy Creek feedground resulted in an estimate of 52 percent of the feedground’s elk being tested for the disease, with a seroprevalance rate of 13.6 percent, which is down substantially from the estimated 30 percent seroprevalance rate prior to the start of this pilot project.
Colligan noted that state wildlife officials also still plan a second capture effort at the Fall Creek feedground this week, adding that whether they are successful is entirely dependent on the weather and the behavior of the elk. Temperatures in the area remained in the mid-30s Monday and Tuesday afternoon. The elk seem to be more interested in entering the traps for food when the weather is cold.