State Wildlife Office Issues Dire Warning After Nine Dead Beavers Found Across Multiple Counties – Don’t Approach the Carcasses

State Wildlife Office Issues Dire Warning After Nine Dead Beavers Found Across Multiple Counties – Don’t Approach the Carcasses

A disease not seen in Utah for seven years is being blamed for the recent deaths of nine beavers in three counties across the state.

Between March 23 and April 10, the nine beavers were found in four locations across Summit, Wasatch and Utah counties, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources posted on its website.

Tests were performed on three animals by the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and the Utah Public Health Lab.

The tests showed the presence of a disease called tularemia, which can also impact people.

The state is asking that anyone who sees dead beavers, rabbits or similar animals not touch the dead animals but report them to the state Division of Wildlife Resources.

The state said the last time the disease was in Utah, it killed a cottontail rabbit in 2017.

“The bacteria that causes this infection is known to be in the environment in many parts of Utah; however, it is unusual to see this many animals die from it at once,” agency veterinarian Ginger Stout said.

“There is a concern about the possibility of tick-borne or fly-borne diseases, so it’s advised to take the necessary precautions by wearing protective clothing, using appropriate insect repellent and checking for ticks after being in brushy areas,” Stout said, according to USA Today.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabbits, hares, and similar animals are the most at risk of catching the disease.

The CDC said the top ways humans become infected are through tick and deer fly bites, touching infected animals, drinking contaminated water, inhaling contaminated aerosols or agricultural and landscaping dust, and exposure in a lab.

The CDC noted one person contracted the disease after being bitten by a pet hamster.

Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources also noted that the disease can be transmitted by eating undercooked rabbit meat.

Prevention steps suggested by the CDC include using insect repellent, wearing gloves if handling a dead animal and not mowing over dead animals.

The CDC said the disease has been present in every state except Hawaii.

The disease can be treated with antibiotics, the CDC noted, adding that most people need between 10 and 21 days to recover.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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