Nebraska bighorn sheep undergo yearly health inspections

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MCGREW, Neb. (AP) -- Several volunteers have spent two days assessing the health of Nebraska's bighorn sheep population.

The Nebraska Game and Parks staff members and volunteers created an inspection station in the Williams Gap Wildlife Management Area southwest of McGrew Saturday.

The sheep were captured with nets, blindfolded, placed in slings and transported via helicopter to the inspection site. The animals underwent a 28-step inspection which included health checks and sampling, as well as being fitted with tracking collars. The wild sheep were inspected for about 10 minutes before being released back into the wild.

Nebraska's herds are at risk of being thinned by pasteurella pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

Sheep were reintroduced to the area nearly four decades ago after native herds were decimated by hunting.

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