Baby bighorn sheep taken from wild moves to wildlife center - Tucson News Now

Baby bighorn sheep taken from wild moves to wildlife center

(Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department) (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A baby bighorn sheep taken from its natural habitat was removed from a Salome-area home and relocated to the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center.

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials said it was unknown why the one-month-old sheep was removed from the wild. It lived at two residences, including a domestic goat farm, before officials took it from the residence.

Mark Hart with the Arizona Game and Fish Department said the baby bighorn sheep was not part of the herd re-introduced into the Catalinas.

"While we don't know why this lamb was taken from the wild, the end result is the same," Arizona Game and Fish's Wildlife Education Program Manager Mike Demlong stated in a news release. "It can no longer be placed back into the wild population because of potential disease risks that can be passed to wild bighorn sheep. Thankfully in this case, the lamb is in good condition and we have found a home for it at Bearizona in Williams, but it is usually difficult to place wildlife at zoos and sanctuaries because they typically don't have the room."

Game and Fish officials warn the public that keeping wildlife as pets is illegal. They said not to "rescue" wildlife believed to be orphaned or abandoned, as a parent might be nearby feeding and set to return. Removing a wild animal from its habitat can have unintended consequences for the animal, including death.

Officials ask the public to report baby wildlife that may be injured or orphaned to the nearest AGFD office  or find instructions at www.azgfd.gov/w_c/urban_injured_sick.shtml.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

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