Fourteen bighorn sheep were released today in the Pusch Ridge area, following capture yesterday in the Tonto National Forest. Three rams and 11 ewes were released as part of the Arizona Game and Fish Department relocation effort.
Three rams died during the effort.
The first 30 bighorn sheep were re-introduced to the Pusch Ridge Wilderness last fall, with the overall goal of more than 100 animals after three consecutive years of transplants, according to AGFD. The total figure includes anticipated lamb births, estimated yearling survival rates, and natural mortality. Instead, the sheep have become the steady diet of mountain lions. Only 12 of the initial 31 that were released in the Pusch Ridge area last November survived.