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Nov 19, 2013 11:01 PM by Rebecca Taylor

Bighorn sheep headed for Pusch Ridge

TUCSON - Thirty one Bighorn sheep that were relocated to the Catalina mountains Monday are thriving, according to Arizona Game and Fish officials.

Their movements are being tracked using GPS collars. News 4 Tucson was given insight into their first few hours on their new turf.

If you live in, or visit Pusch Ridge grab your binoculars, you're in for a sight.

Mark Hart with Arizona Game and Fish says, "Most of them are moving towards Pusch Ridge where we wanted them to go in the first place."

GPS radio collars show the heard is separating. The majority are headed to Pusch Ridge, another group is in Kachina Trail half-way to Summerhaven.

"And we've got one, for reasons unknown that's heading to Sabino Canyon," says Hart.

Tuesday night a party was held at the Hilton el Conquistador Resort. The animal's release is a dream come true for those fighting to bring Bighorn sheep back to the historic mountain range.

In the late 90's there used to be between 75 to 150 in the Catalinas, they eventually died off. Hiker Bob Bransky says he's looking forward to watching the population grow.

"I'm a big believer in keeping everything native to the areas," says Bransky, "I hike all around the country. I absolutely love it, and I love to see the wild when you can."

The cost of the project is around $600,000. It's funded by private donations and fees from hunting and fishing licenses.

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