/ Modified jan 5, 2015 3:13 p.m.

Three Lambs Born to Bighorn Sheep in Catalinas

Two adults found dead since last release to build herd; that effort going well, state wildlife official says.

Bighorn Sheep Bighorn sheep

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Three lambs have been born to the herd of bighorn sheep being reestablished in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson.

The lambs belong to ewes that were released in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Area in November.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department also reports a second death from group of 30 sheep in the latest release. Officials from the department believe the same mountain lion attacked both sheep, but it hasn’t been located.

Joe Sacco, wildlife supervisor with Game and Fish, said despite the recent deaths, efforts to reestablish the herd are going well.

"The sheep that we released this time did have the benefit of having sheep on the ridge in really good habitat," Sacco said. "And we didn’t have that last year."

Hikers in the area are asked not to wander more than 400 feet off trail and to leave their dogs at home. Those measures are meant to minimize disturbances to the sheep, particularly to the young lambs and their mothers.

The lambing season goes into April, so Game and Fish expects more births in the next few months.

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