Irvine Park bison died from virus spread by sheep - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Irvine Park bison died from virus spread by sheep


Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Officials revealed Friday what killed two bison and sickened a third at the Irvine Park & Zoo in Chippewa Falls.

A veterinarian said the bison died from Malignant Catarrhal Fever, a virus spread by sheep living in an adjacent pen. The veterinarian said the virus is spread by mucus and saliva, which bison are very susceptible to. The virus cannot be spread to other animals or humans.

The sheep had been moved into the area recently. Parks and Recreation director Dick Hebert says the sheep will be moved out of the park as soon as possible.

Since the outbreak, the bison have been moved to a new pasture. The one sick bison seems to be doing ok at his time and the rest of the herd is under observation. There is no cure for Malignant Catarrhal Fever.

If the park decides to have sheep again, they won't share a fence line with the bison.


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