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Science File | IN BRIEF

Alligators Infected With West Nile Killed in Idaho

November 15, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Nearly 600 alligators in Idaho have been put to death because they were infected with the West Nile virus.

The infection was detected after an alligator wrangler became ill with the disease. The virus has not been detected in mosquitoes or other normal vectors in the state, and health officials believe the animals were infected in Florida before shipment to Idaho.

The alligators are raised in barns warmed by geothermal springs and are used as a waste disposal system for a tilapia and catfish farm, which also uses the geothermal springs. Adult animals are sold for their meat and hides.

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