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Photos: Bighorn return to Catalinas

A bit tentatively, 31 bighorn sheep leapt from a trailer and disappeared into the rocky desert scrub as a herd was released in the Catalina Mountains on Monday morning — replacements for sheep that died out in the area on the 1990s.

The group — 24 ewes, six rams and one lamb — were captured near Yuma over the weekend and transported to be released in the mountains north of Tucson. They were coaxed from the trailer in Catalina State Park by Game and Fish workers, with some more ready than others to jump into their new home.

Wildlife officials expect them to take up residence on rugged Pusch Ridge, where the previous group of wild bighorns lived.

Officials plan to release further groups of the sheep in the area over the coming years, with the aim of building the herd up to about 100 animals.

Among the photographers present was Oro Valley Town Councilman Lou Waters, who shared his photos with TucsonSentinel.com.

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Nov 18, 2013, 3:20 pm
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It was such a thrill to be there this morning to enjoy and be part of this wonderful event.  We hike almost everyday at Catalina State Park and it will be so exciting to be out hiking and look up into the hills and see such wonderful animals roaming up there.  Thank you to the groups that made this happen. 

Pam

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