By Brendan O’Brien (Reuters) – Bats in Wisconsin and Michigan have been infected with a disease that has killed millions of the mosquito-eating mammals elsewhere in the U.S. and could have a detrimental impact on farming and forestry, wildlife officials said on Thursday. White-nose syndrome appeared in five small brown bats collected in February and March in northern Michigan during routine surveillance, the state’s Department of Natural Resources said in a statement. “Even though we’ve known this disease was coming, it is a disappointing day,” said Dan O’Brien, a department wildlife veterinarian. Two bats in Wisconsin tested positive for the fungal disease after they were collected in a mine during winter surveillance in Grant County, near the Illinois border, where the disease was confirmed in 2012.
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