WYOMING — A highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in wild birds in Wyoming amid a national outbreak.

The flu was found in two great horned owls from Park County, one Canadian goose from Bighorn County and two Canadian geese from Fremont County. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been monitoring for the virus’ presence in wild birds.

The presence of the virus in Wyoming was identified by the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

Game and Fish is asking the public to report groups of dead birds to the department.

“We expected to see HPAI  in wild birds after it was identified in domestic flocks in Wyoming,” said Hank Edwards, Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor.  “Game and Fish is relying on reports from the public to learn more about the distribution in our state — especially from hunters and people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Anyone who finds clusters of three or more dead wild birds — waterfowl, grouse, turkeys and raptors — please contact your regional Game and Fish office.”

Wild birds can carry HPAI and not appear sick. Some birds might exhibit signs of neurological impairment or may be found dead with no apparent cause

HPAI is considered a zoonotic disease, which can infect humans. Game and Fish reminds the public to not touch or handle sick or dead birds, and do not allow domestic animals like dogs and cats to feed on sick or dead birds.

To report clusters of dead birds call the nearest Game and Fish Regional Office. For more info on HPAI and to track cases in wild birds, visit the Game and Fish website.

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Buckrail @ Shannon

Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter. She just completed a master's in journalism from Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.