State to return bighorn sheep to Montana mountain range

Bighorn Sheep

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife officials plan to restore bighorn sheep to a southwestern Montana mountain range where the animals had been killed off due to disease.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials plan to transplant the sheep from Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake to the Tendoy Mountains near Lima, the Independent Record reported.

Hunters and state biologists killed the remaining population of bighorns in the Tendoy range beginning in 2015 after the population had struggled for years with disease.

The removal of the herd came after earlier efforts to bolster the population proved ineffective.

Sheep are now available to transplant into the area with the hope of reestablishing a herd, wildlife management bureau chief Brian Wakeling said. Exact numbers of sheep to be transplanted or dates of the transplant were still under consideration last week.