59 dead bison in Wood Buffalo National Park likely caused by anthrax outbreak

An anthrax outbreak has been reported in the remote areas of the Wood Buffalo National Park.

Parks Canada has observed 59 carcasses with three lab-confirmed cases located in Sweetgrass, Trident Creek/Trident Meadows, Peace Point Junction West, Flat Grass, and Lake One areas.

Anthrax is caused by bacteria that occurs naturally in the soil with outbreaks usually occurring in the height of summer.

Parks Canada stated in a release that bison in the area have been affected because of their love to wallow in the dirt.

Mortality alerts from collared bison were received by staff around the middle of July.

Soon after this alert came in, Parks Canada staff noticed several dead bison on a routine anthrax surveillance flight.

This isn’t the first anthrax outbreak in the park, the last one occurred in 2015 with over five significant outbreaks occurring since 1967.

Parks Canada states that the risk to the public is “very, very low” and that they are continuing to do daily surveillance flights to manage the situation.

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