Zion National Park Bighorn Sheep Run Free in New Utah Home

Fifty desert bighorn sheep were moved from Zion National Park to new homes in southeast Utah around late December and early January, the park said. Video posted on Saturday, January 27, shows the sheep running off after being released.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources worked with the National Park Service to release the translocated sheep into a series of canyons that would be a suitable habitat in the southeast part of the state. The sheep were equipped with GPS and radio transmitters so officials could know whether the majority of the sheep remained in the canyons and joined the local herd.

The park said some of the wild sheep that live in Zion had “expanded beyond the park boundaries, increasing their chances of coming in contact with domestic sheep that can carry disease.” Moving the sheep allows for the reduction of the density of the Zion herd and lessens the risk of a catastrophic disease epidemic, as well as bolstering herds in other parts of the state, the park said. Credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources via Storyful