Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Musk Oxen Keep Dying at University of Alaska Research Station

This is kind of weird. Maybe nothing's wrong, but a review of the animal care program is being initiated.

Read the full story at Fairbanks Daily News-Miner....
The death toll for musk oxen at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station rose to nine after a school veterinarian euthanized two older bulls that never recovered from a suspected trace mineral deficiency that caused the deaths of seven other animals in September and October.

The seven musk oxen that died or were euthanized from mid-September to mid-October demonstrated similar symptoms, which Blake believes were the result of a mineral deficiency. All the animals were underweight and lacking in cobalt, copper and selenium, all of which are integral to the animals’ metabolism.

The deaths of nine of the school’s 36 musk oxen represent the biggest die-off since the herd was established at LARS in 1979.

....The die-off prompted UAF to hire a private consultant from the Lower 48 to do a full review of the school’s animal care program.

“We’re going to cover all our animal facilities, the whole program top down,” Blake said.

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