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Sam Penrod Reporting More wildlife are roaming Utah's hillsides today. Some bighorn sheep from Colorado are now in Utah in an effort to replenish Utah's dwindling herd of wild sheep.
For sportsmen, there was a lot of excitement as the sheep (which were traded for some moose) arrived and found freedom at the base of Mt. Timpanogos.
The bighorn sheep were released this morning on the east bench of Pleasant Grove. The sheep were driven from Colorado overnight after they were captured yesterday. There is one ram and 17 ewes, and all of the ewes are expected to produce lambs in the next couple of months, which will almost double the population of bighorn sheep.
Bighorn sheep typically like rocky areas in places where it is open, so they can watch for predators. And that makes it easier for wildlife enthusiasts to watch the sheep in the wild.
Craig Clyde, DWR wildlife biologist: "We like to have wildlife in wild places. Wherever there is a niche, we like to fill it. Sheep were actually here in pioneer days, and the last sheep was seen here in the 1940's; and we've lost those sheep. We want to get them back on the mountain so we can enjoy them, our kids can enjoy them."
Back in January the DWR released 20 bighorn sheep from Montana in Alpine. Biologists are interested if the two herds will gather together or if they will stay apart. Biologists are hoping these new sheep, which are used to being in high elevations, will actually make their home at the top of Mt. Timpanogos.
The sheep all have radio collars so they can be tracked, and any that are lost to predators or sickness can be identified.
Overall Utah has had 200 bighorn sheep transplanted in Utah this year, and the DWR hopes it will be the boost that Utah's sheep herds will need to become stable.