Billy Pat McKinney [00:00:01] Desert bighorn sheep are an animal that evolved in island situations, and weren't exposed to a lot of diseases that were common in domestic sheep.
Billy Pat McKinney [00:00:12] And what happened is that when people started settling this country, they brought domestic sheep with them. And the bighorn sheep contacted some of the diseases that they absolutely had no titer for and no resistance to. And it was a very devastating to that, to that animal.
Billy Pat McKinney [00:00:29] Another thing, they were overhunted when, when mining operations came in, the railroad being built. This required a lot of meat to be supplied to these gangs and crews. And it was common practice back in those days to to go out in the mountains and hunt them. They, they had contract hunters. Commercial hunters did this.
Billy Pat McKinney [00:00:49] And like all wildlife, very few species of wildlife can can stand commercial hunting. It's just regulated hunting is one thing, but commercial hunting is is very hard on wildlife species. And the bighorn sheep are already a very fragile animal to start with. And they couldn't stand that kind of pressure, along with the disease factor brought in by domestic livestock. ...
Billy Pat McKinney [00:01:13] In fact, the last ones were seen in the 1950s and then they were totally gone.