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Respiratory disease found in some AZ sheep

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Posted at 5:40 AM, Jan 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-01 07:40:49-05

Wildlife officials say bighorn sheep in the Black Mountains in northwest Arizona are afflicted with a respiratory disease.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said Thursday that tests of tissue samples from three ewes confirm the animals have a strain of pneumonia bacteria.

The agency says hunters last month noticed bighorn sheep that were coughing or putting out a nasal discharge.

The department conducted a spot survey on Dec. 9.

Most sheep appeared in good condition. There were no deceased sheep.

They say the bacteria found are the same bacteria behind a 2013 outbreak of pneumonia among bighorn sheep in 2013 in the Mojave National Preserve in California.

Officials say they will continue to monitor the sheep population in the Black Mountains.