TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - More bighorn sheep have died in a controversial program to reintroduce them into the Catalina Mountains.
The bighorn sheep were released in the area on Nov. 18. Arizona Game and Fish Department officials said today that seven of the sheep were killed by mountain lions and one might have died from stress.
Officials originally reported five bighorn sheep deaths.
The bighorn sheep reintroduction program was created to help restore the herd and the ecosystem. It has received some criticism since officials have killed some of the mountain lions responsible for attacking the sheep.
No mountain lions have been killed in connection to the last three attacks; two mountain lions were killed in other cases.
The Bighorn Sheep Advisory Committee wants to stress not every mountain lion that attacks a sheep will be killed; it's on a case by case basis and only if they can be sure the mountain lion has been identified.