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Annual California bighorn sheep count canceled after death

Sick Sheep
Posted at 1:58 PM, Jul 05, 2021

BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — An annual count of bighorn sheep scheduled for this weekend in a Southern California desert was canceled after a volunteer died while preparing for the excursion amid scorching heat.

The Union-Tribune says the tally in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park typically draws dozens of volunteers who collect information for scientists monitoring the health of sheep.

Sixty-eight-year-old Don White died June 19 while hiking in to leave water at his count site. The cause of death is under investigation, but it seems likely overheating played a role.

It was 116 degrees that day.

Officials canceled the count and initiated a review of safety protocols.