Friday, March 12, 2010

Abused Desert Bighorns - Moab, Utah

These Desert Bighorn Sheep have been captured and outfitted with large radio collars by a Brigham Young University graduate student working on his master's degree. This intrusive research is common anywhere there is a animal to study. Bighorn ram necks swell during the rut and his collar is far too tight for comfort. The ram appeared to be having difficulty in swallowing.
These bighorns were easy for me to find every day by using my binoculars. The radio collar choking the ram is simply a convenience for the lazy inconsiderate researcher.
The large collars attract the interest of predators, who have evolved to attack animals that look different from the rest of the herd. Putting a collar on a prey animal is like putting a "Kill Me" sign on them. When a cougar kills one of these handicapped bighorn, Bighorn sheep hunters and the fish and game department will clamor for reducing the cougar population. What they should do is stop this intrusive type of research.

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