EAGAR — Twelve Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are now exploring new territory on the Apache National Forest in eastern Arizona, announced the Arizona Game and Fish Department (department). The sheep were captured June 25 using a drop net on the Morenci Mine property, owned by Freeport McMoRan, Inc. (FMI), in southeastern Arizona, in cooperation with mine officials. All of the sheep were released in good condition the following day near the South Fork area of the Little Colorado River.

This translocation is the first of several planned efforts over the next few years, and is part of the department’s Morenci Mine Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Management Plan. The plan includes the capture of surplus bighorns in the mine area to use as source stock to establish new herds in suitable, historic habitat in eastern and central Arizona, and to augment existing populations that are below desired population levels.

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