The fifth cougar to succumb to the plague in recent years was found at the southern end of Grand Teton National Park in recent days.

The female cat was known in the area of Jackson, Wyoming for wandering around the region. The 6 year old cat found by biologists was tagged with a global positioning system collar.

The plague is naturally occurring in the area.

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague.

People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person.