CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming game managers plan to capture and collar elk next month as part of an ongoing study of brucellosis and elk in the Bighorn Mountains of north-central Wyoming.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says up to 60 elk will be captured using a helicopter net-gunning operation in an area south of the lower Greybull River and portions of the Owl Creek Mountains.

Wildlife manager will take blood samples, fit each elk with a GPS tracking collar and then release the elk.

The study was initiated to better understand seasonal movements and brucellosis prevalence among elk in the Bighorn Mountains. The project also aims to analyze genetic strains of the brucellosis bacteria to help determine how it may have spread to the Bighorn Mountains.

Brucellosis can spread to cattle, causing them to abort their offspring.