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Trail Cam Captures First Sighting of Desert Bighorns in 60 Years in Saguaro National Park

desert bighorn
National Parks Traveler

Trail camera set up to capture animals not seen in park in years. 

Desert bighorn sheep haven’t been seen in the Tucson Mountain District of Arizona’s Saguaro National Park in quite a long time.

The park is best known for the large saguaro cactus plants growing in the desert area. But recent sightings of desert bighorn sheep may get some more attention as they are the first in the mountain district in 60 years.

A rare sighting reported by a visitor to park authorities March 15 was confirmed when photos of two young desert bighorns taken two days earlier were retrieved from a trail camera.

Coincidentally enough, National Parks Traveler reports the trail camera was set up by middle and high school students specifically to try and capture images of animals that hadn’t been seen the park in years. The students set the camera up with help from park staff as a part of a resource protection and educational program.

As for where the desert bighorns came from, Friends of Saguaro National Park has a theory. “The sheep are believed to be from a herd known to be in the Ironwood National Monument area northwest of Saguaro National Park,” the group told National Parks Traveler. “If so, they would have crossed the Avra Valley – a movement corridor that would be severed by a proposed interstate highway route.”

However they got there, visitors to that portion of Saguaro now have one more kind of wildlife to look for on their next visit to the park.

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Trail Cam Captures First Sighting of Desert Bighorns in 60 Years in Saguaro National Park