Black Hills bighorn sheep set for recovery

Custer, S.D. (AP) – Wildlife officials in the Black Hills say the population of bighorn sheep is recovering after a seven-year die off.

KOTA television reports that a deadly strain of pneumonia since 2005 depleted their numbers by 75 percent throughout the region. The numbers fell from 200 to just 28, but Custer state park resource manager Gary Brundige says a recovery is on the horizon.

The park survived some lambs through the year, and two are ewes that will add to the breeding population.

The park will also be looking across the Rocky Mountains west to find more sheep as early as next winter to get the numbers up.

Brundige says it often takes up to 11 years for herds to recover from the deadly strain of pneumonia.

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