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BOZEMAN — Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials have ruled out catarrhal fever in the death of a bison found near the Yellowstone River.

The agency investigated the deaths of three dead bison found in the river after a Gardiner rancher introduced domestic sheep on his property near Yellowstone.

The fever is benign in sheep but fatal when transmitted to bison.

FWP Veterinarian Jennifer Ramsey says the cause of death could not be determined in one of the bison, but there was no sign of disease.

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Test results of the other two bison are expected in a few weeks.

Ramsey speculates the bison were swept away with rising water levels and may have hit hard surfaces resulting in the broken ribs, punctured lungs and a fractured pelvis in the other two.

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