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These South Dakota animals scatter and die from plague

South Dakota is currently experiencing an outbreak of the plague, a disease infamous throughout history for its high mortality rate, rapid transmission, and ability to incite widespread fear and anxiety.

Government agencies have determined that an outbreak of plague is responsible for the mass death of prairie dogs in Badlands National Park, Buffalo Gap National Grassland and the surrounding Conata-Badlands ecosystem area.

These South Dakota animals are spreading and dying of plague – Getty Thinkstock

These South Dakota animals are spreading and dying of plague – Getty Thinkstock

This determination comes from the test results received on May 31.

Sylvatic plague is a flea-borne bacterial disease that mainly affects wild rodents.

However, this disease can also infect humans, pets and other animal species.

South Dakota Prairie Dog and Black-footed Ferrett-Getty Thinkstock

South Dakota Prairie Dog and Black-footed Ferrett-Getty Thinkstock

Prairie dogs are highly vulnerable to plague, and the decline in their population poses a significant threat to the critically endangered black-footed ferret, which depends on prairie dogs as a primary food source and is also susceptible to the disease.

The plague was last identified in the Conata Basin region of South Dakota in 2009.

During this time it devastated the population of the critically endangered black-footed ferret, killing more than 80 percent of the remaining individuals.

South Dakota Badlands Blackfoot Ferrett-Getty Thinkstock

South Dakota Badlands Blackfoot Ferrett-Getty Thinkstock

10 Deadliest Creatures in the US: South Dakota has a lot of them

The deadliest animal in the US isn’t the alligator or bear, or even the mighty shark. The answer may surprise you.

You might also be surprised at how many of these creatures can be found in South Dakota.

Here are the top 10:

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