Bighorn Sheep To Be Relocated To Tucson Area

October 23, 2013

(Photo courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish Department)
Department staff carrying Kofa bighorn from capture helicopter.

Arizona Game and Fish is preparing to relocate dozens of Bighorn Sheep to the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. The sheep will replace a herd that died out in that area almost 20 years ago.

About 30 sheep will be captured in nets dropped by helicopters at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds along the Arizona-California border next month. Then, they will be trucked to their new home north of Tucson. 

Arizona Game and Fish spokesman Mark Hart said the relocation effort will allow wildlife biologists to fit the sheep with GPS collars to monitor their whereabouts.  

“It also includes a predator management plan which will attempt in a very precise way to remove mountain lions that are shown to have killed Big Horn Sheep,” Hart said. 

Hart said mountain lions that attack the sheep will be killed by Game and Fish officers. That is why some environmentalists oppose the reintroduction program. He said about 100 Bighorn Sheep will be moved to the Tucson area over the next two years.