Few animals look more at home on the majestic slopes of the Rocky Mountains than bighorn sheep. The individuals in these photos are California bighorn sheep, with the native Badlands bighorn sheep forced to extinction around 1925. Bighorn sheep thrive in the Rocky Mountains with males (where they are left in peace) sometimes reaching 500 pounds. However, they are typically not left in peace as hunters big (i.e., us) and small (i.e., bacteria introduced by nonnative domesticated sheep) wreak havoc on the bighorn sheep population in North America which has gone from approximately two million to as few as two thousand in the past two hundred years. Thankfully, their numbers have rebounded somewhat in recent years.
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