Hunters have harvested about half of the bighorn sheep herd in the Tendoy Mountains in a first of its kind hunt aimed at eliminating the herd to also eradicate disease.
The Tendoy herd, numbering between 30 and 40 animals, has struggled for years to maintain a robust population after disease caused die-offs and low lamb survival.
Bighorns are known for their susceptibility to diseases such as pneumonia contracted from domestic sheep and goats, devastating several famous herds around Montana and the West. The disease is not dangerous to humans.
Once disease is present in a population, biologists have found a small number of animals persist while the disease remains impossible to eradicate. Attempts to bolster the herd by transplanting new animals have proven ineffective as well, with those sheep also succumbing to disease.
CLICK HERE to read the rest