Outdoors

Nov 29, 2010 6:20 PM by KXLF News

Viewer catches bighorn sheep herd on camera near Anaconda

A viewer sent us this picture he snapped over the weekend of a herd of bighorn sheep.

Evan Barrett of Butte says the herd was crossing the highway about five miles west of Anaconda. He counted about 30 sheep.

"Last Sunday morning I was on the way from Butte to Georgetown Lake. Snow, wind, cold, but typical weather for the time of year. As I left Anaconda and was approaching the end of the speed zone about 5 miles west of Anaconda I saw some activity in the road ahead. I couldn't tell if it was deer or what. As I slowed down because they were blocking the highway, I saw that about 30 bighorn sheep were out in the middle of the road. Apparently they were licking salt that was on the road for the icy conditions. I was slowly working my way through them when they started to move. I quickly caught this photo on my cell phone," Barrett wrote.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks state wildlife officials say this is the same herd with confirmed cases of pneumonia. The herd is made up of about 300 bighorn sheep and is the sixth herd to suffer a pneumonia outbreak. Officials plan to let the outbreak run its course.

It was this stretch of highway that on Jan. 11 that eight bighorn sheep were stuck and killed by a truck. There are reader boards along Highway 1 cautioning motorists of wildlife crossing.

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