OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
At mile marker 23.5
While on a hot long hike to and up part of Split Mountain, I spotted a herd of two ewes and five juveniles. Just east of Split Mt CG on the east side of the Green River among the Park City Formation. They were molting. The heat and exertion of climbing ridges had them panting. One got as close as 50 feet. The overall encounter lasted 1/2 hour. ID confirmed by park biologist (not desert bighorns).
I saw these shortly after they'd crossed the road very near the campground. Even though the area was relatively flat, I couldn't believe how quickly I lost sight of them. I hurried back to the campground to tell my family, but I couldn't see where they'd gone. This was my last observation from our 10-day RV adventure out west. Not a bad way to end!
The bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) is a species of sheep in North America named for its large horns. These horns can weigh up to 30 lb (14 kg), while the sheep themselves weigh up to 300 lb (140 kg). Recent genetic testing indicates three distinct subspecies of Ovis canadensis, one of which is endangered: O. c. sierrae. Sheep originally crossed to North America over the Bering land bridge from Siberia: the population in North America peaked in the millions, and...