Puma (Puma concolor) predating sheep in Uberlândia, Brazil: physical injuries, stress and myopathy
Keywords:Predation, Ovine, Stress, Cause of death, Necropsy
Puma (Puma concolor) is in Brazil among the major species involved in human-wildlife conflicts, primarily due to the predation of sheep and goats in farms. A puma might kill from one to several animals in a single predation episode, and free-ranging flocks of goats and sheep are usually affected. These attacks are rarely witnessed and direct observation of predation is rare. We herein report three predation episodes and the cause of death of sheep kept inside paddocks in a farm located besides a major town of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Death of 31 animals was attributed to a puma as determined by circumstantial evidence, necropsy of 16 animals, laboratory findings and direct observation of the predator at the occurrence site. However, death of only eight animals was caused by traumatic injury mainly at the cervical region. The remaining animals lacked lethal traumatic injuries and post mortem examination indicated circulatory collapse (congestion of internal organs). Two surviving animals had a great increase in creatinine phosphokinase blood levels and thus death of remaining animals was attributed to stress and myopathy caused by fear and chasing of sheep trapped inside paddocks. Measures taken after the third predation episode (illumination of paddocks, pasture height control, vegetation clearance around the paddocks and closure of animals in stalls at night) prevented further attacks.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2018 Thaís de Almeida Moreira, Gilberto de Lima Macedo Júnior, Rafael Rocha de Souza, Márcio de Barros Bandarra, Matias Pablo Juan Szabó
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.