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Bighorn sheep captured and relocated to Cochiti Canyon

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish captured 34 bighorn sheep this week at the Chevron Mine in Questa and transferred them to Cochiti Canyon to supplement the existing Jemez Mountains herd.

The bighorn sheep on mine property came from a herd at Wheeler Peak. Biologists wanted to move the sheep primarily to augment the Jemez Herd. They also wanted to reduce the number of sheep along N.M. 38 between Questa and Red River. Numerous sheep in recent years have been killed in traffic collisions on the rural highway. A motorcyclist also died in one of those crashes.

Most of the captured sheep where netted at a roadside site, said Nicole Quintana, the department’s big game program manager.

The captured sheep were released on U.S. Forest Service Land at Cochiti Canyon in the Jemez Mountains where an existing herd of about 45 animals was established in 2014 following the Las Conchas fire. The relocated sheep may move onto Cochiti Pueblo and Bandelier National Monument lands, Quintana said.

To view a video of the bighorn sheep capture please visit https://youtu.be/AKHzZVnq5jo. For more information about the department please visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.