Toxic Plant Kills 4 Cows in Montana

April 28, 2016 03:02 PM

Agricultural scientists are warning Montana livestock producers to be on the lookout for a slender green plant that has killed at least four cows in Yellowstone County in a one-week period.

The Great Falls Tribune reports ( ) the cows were found to have eaten lethal amounts of the toxic plant known as Death Camas this past week. The plant also has a significant presence in Custer County, but no livestock deaths have been attributed to it there.

Scientists say the plant, which contains a steroidal toxin called Zygacine, is highly toxic in the spring due to warmer weather and moist soils.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Death Camas is a member of the lily family and can be found growing in pastures and fields from Texas to Alaska.

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