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Feb 24, 2014 4:51 PM

13th bighorn found dead

TUCSON - Game and Fish have discovered the 13th death in population of relocated bighorn sheep.

The update on the Arizona Game and Fish website says the adult bighorn ram was killed by a mountain lion.

Of the 17 sheep still alive, 2 are adult males.

Game and Fish officials pursued the mountain lion but were unable to hunt it, a release detailed.

"Pursuit was initiated and the lion reached steep and rocky terrain, where it remained while the hounds were present and darkness approached. Due to the steepness the situation proved too risky to remove the cat. Pursuit was resumed the following morning, but the lion was not re-located."

Game and Fish's strategy is to selectively hunt mountain lions that prey on bighorn rather than generally cull the population. So far 2 of the mountain lions have been hunted.

Biologists on the ground are enouraged with news of the sheep banding together to form larger groups. Game and Fish says they're less likey to be preyed upon.

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» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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