Three organizations supported primarily by hunters are the main private financial backers of a controversial state project to reintroduce bighorn sheep to the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, records show.
A bighorn sheep reintroduction project that has brought the deaths of 15 bighorns and three mountain lions in the Catalina Mountains is a futile “crazy program” that will only lead to more dead animals, a spokesman for opponents of the project said Friday.
Two more bighorn sheep have died in the Catalina Mountains, and a mountain lion was killed for preying on sheep, state wildlife officials said Wednesday.
Mountain lions that kill bighorn sheep in the Catalina Mountains will now be tracked and killed by state-sponsored hunters only in a portion of the Catalinas rather than throughout the range, wildlife officials said Friday.
Another bighorn sheep, a ram, was found dead in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson on Tuesday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has confirmed.
A ninth bighorn sheep has died in the Catalina Mountains where 31 bighorns were released in November, state wildlife officials reported Friday.
Eight of the 31 bighorn sheep transplanted to the Catalina Mountains in November are now dead — slashing the size of the group by more than 25 percent in just over two months.
A seventh bighorn sheep apparently has died in the Catalina Mountains, according to state wildlife officials, said a state senator who spoke with the officials Wednesday.
State wildlife officials declined Friday to provide current information on a controversial bighorn sheep reintroduction in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson.
Forty-one pronghorns, commonly known as antelope, were released at two sites in the Sonoita-Patagonia area Wednesday — part of an effort to rebuild dwindling herds in Southeastern Arizona.
A new group — Friends of Wild Animals — has been formed in Tucson to protest developments in a recent bighorn sheep reintroduction near the city and voice opposition to the closure of meetings on the project by state wildlife officials.