Bighorn sheep relocated north of Tucson - Tucson News Now

Bighorn sheep relocated north of Tucson

The calendar says it's Veterans Day but for a dozen bighorn sheep, it's Independence Day. Jim Heffelinger of Arizona Game and Fish says "Years ago sheep could expand into these mountain ranges and thrive, but now we have highways, roads, C.A.P. canals, and fences that encroach on them in in that way so they need a little help now to introduce themselves into the habitat."

A small transport box may look like no way to travel for man or beast, but Game and Fish says these bighorn sheep are much more likely to thrive here than they would in the Kofa mountains north of Yuma where they came from.

There are about 6,000 Bighorn sheep in Arizona. That's more than double the population at it's low 30 years ago. Most of these conservationists are also game hunters....a contradiction? Gary Barcom is a hunter and a member of The Big Horn Sheep Society. He says "no."

"We'd like to be able to see my grandkids enjoy the outdoors and the animals as well." The sheep will be tracked with motion sensors and radio transmitters so game and fish can monitor the sheep in their new home.

Copyright 2003 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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