Bighorn Sheep Thriving In Southern Arizona

By Stina Sieg
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 5:05am
Updated: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 6:52am
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National Park Service
Desert bighorn sheep.

Bighorn sheep appear to be thriving in Southern Arizona. The animals were reintroduced to the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson four years ago.

In 2013, just 30 bighorn sheep were released, with more brought in each year. Now, an estimated 85 sheep live in the area, according to Arizona Game and Fish Department officials. But they say the actual number could be double that, as many of the creatures’ tracking collars no longer work.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that an Arizona Game and Fish survey revealed the population in March, with another count performed recently, and still another that could happen next month.

Desert bighorns disappeared from the Santa Catalinas in the late 1990s, but they are not a threatened species.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.