Bighorn sheep in eastern Oregon were captured and collared for release back into their native historic range.
The Oregon Division of Fish and Wildlife captures and transplants bighorn sheep yearly in an effort to thin some herds that are too large while supplementing others that are smaller in number. The relocation plan also provides a boost to the genetic diversity of the overall herd.
The capture was made by helicopter using a hand-held net firing device which subdued the sheep so that wildlife biologists could blindfold and restrain the bighorns to keep them calm.
Okay, who wants their own net bazooka?! While it works well for the ODFW, maybe we could relocate a few squirrels or possibly the neighbor’s cat.
All kidding aside, projects like this one are paramount to insure the health of the species. Bighorn sheep are very susceptible to pneumonia and must be kept away from domestic sheep. Any contact could risk a widespread outbreak that could decimate a wild herd in a very short time.
Cheers to ODFW service and their volunteers for performing this important function and insuring the long term health of the herd in the great state of Oregon!