Nevada desert bighorn sheep to boost Utah herds

Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Dozens of desert bighorn sheep from Nevada are getting a new home in southern Utah.

Wildlife officials used a helicopter this week to capture 50 of the iconic big game animals from the mountains of southeastern Nevada and moved them to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Western states often swap animals to restore or boost their local populations.

Nevada had an abundance of the sheep around Henderson and Boulder City. Some were easy to capture because they had been accustomed to helicopter noise from aerial tours and frequently wandered into communities. Others weren't.

Some of the sheep are being released Friday. Utah wildlife officials say they're using the animals to try to connect existing herds of sheep and increase the gene pool.

The sheep have been outfitted with radio collars.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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