BIG GAME -- Despite millions of dollars in research, pneumonia continues to plague bighorn sheep herds in Washington, Idaho, Montana and elsewhere, including Canada.
However, one thing is well-documented: wild sheep loose in virtually all close encounters with domestic animals.
Domestic sheep believed to have spread pneumonia to bighorns in B.C.
Since the fall of 2013, the number of bighorn sheep in the Chasm herd of California bighorns north of Clinton, British Columbia, has fallen from 110 to just 28. Provincial wildlife officials say domestic sheep in the area may have introduced the fatal disease into the wild population.
A similar outbreak in the South Okanagan in 2000 killed 65 percent of the wild bighorns in that area.