Officials from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are warning Utah residents to not touch any dead beavers found throughout Utah due to a potentially deadly bacterial disease. 

According to a statement from the UDWR, some beavers have tested positive for tularemia, a bacterial disease that can be deadly to humans if not taken seriously.  

The UDWR said, “Humans are susceptible to tularemia, and human cases typically result from the bite of a tick or deerfly in the summer or when someone handles infected animals harvested during hunting or trapping seasons. The disease can be life-threatening for people if not treated quickly, but most infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.” 

To avoid any type of human infection, the UDWR recommends staying far away from any dead beavers for the time being and advise residents to report any dead beavers to officials from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. 

The locations of the nine dead beavers found in the past few weeks include Summit, Wasatch, and Utah Counties, but only three of the beavers tested positive for tularemia. 

The UDWR said it’s strange to find this many animals die from tularemia at once, which is causing some concern for wildlife officials. 

The disease is most often found among rodents and other small mammals like beavers and rabbits, which is why the disease is also known by another name, rabbit fever. 

More information can be found on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ website, including more details on the symptoms associated with tularemia. 


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