Game And Fish: Eight Reintroduced Bighorns Have Died

January 24, 2014

Three more sheep released by state wildlife officials in mountains north of Tucson have died. That is the latest update from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

On Nov. 18, Game and Fish released 31 desert bighorn sheep into the Santa Catalina Mountains as part of a project to restore a herd that disappeared in the early '90s. Thirty of the sheep were outfitted with GPS trackers.

According to the most recent report on the project, between Jan. 6 and Jan.19, three more of the bighorns were killed by mountain lions. Investigators pursued one of the lions but could not track it down, and they determined it would have been futile to go after the other two lions.

That brings the total number of bighorns killed to eight. Seven of them were killed by mountain lions. One died from what is called capture myopathy, a condition that sometimes kills animals transplanted and released into the wild.