Dead bison in herd on reclaimed oilsands site test positive for anthrax

Three bison from Syncrude's herd in the oilsands have tested positive for anthrax. Global News

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Three bison from Syncrude’s herd in the  oilsands have tested positive for anthrax.

Officials recently found four carcasses on the Beaver Wood Bison Ranch, a herd that’s been living on reclaimed land on the Mildred Lake oilsands site for more than 20 years.

One tested positive for anthrax, and Syncrude spokesman Leithan Slade confirmed Saturday evening that tissue samples from two of the other animals also confirmed that anthrax was present.

Syncrude closed off the area, contained the animal carcasses and shut down a public viewing point.

Slade says tissue samples haven’t been obtained from the fourth animal yet because workers haven’t gone into the area.

Parks Canada confirmed several anthrax cases in Wood Buffalo National Park over the summer, but it’s the first time it has been detected in the Mildred Lake herd.

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With files from CFFR.

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