Feeding grounds facilitated the spread of disease
The animal disease brucellosis is emerging in new "hot spots" around Yellowstone National Park, according to new research that could complicate efforts to control transmissions of the disease to cattle.
Feeding grounds where food is left for elk as well as herds of bison inside the park have long been considered the main sources of brucellosis, which causes pregnant animals to abort their young.
But Paul Cross with the U.S. Geological Survey said a third source is now emerging: Blood tests indicate large elk herds living far from the feeding grounds have brucellosis exposure rates ranging from 10% to 30%.
That means containing the park's bison and getting rid of the feeding grounds might not be enough to stop brucellosis transmissions to cattle in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
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