- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) - Wildlife officials shot and killed a 7-year-old bighorn ram that wandered near an Oregon city because it got too close to domestic sheep.

The Herald and News reports (http://bit.ly/1iXv6ph ) that the ram left the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge last week and was shot after being seen on agricultural land outside Merrill Thursday morning.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Jon Muir says wild bighorn sheep that mingle with their domestic counterparts are exposed to infections and often get pneumonia. Respiratory illnesses like that are benign for domestic sheep but often lethal to bighorns, sometimes wiping out entire herds.

ODFW Klamath Falls district biologist Tom Collom says the ram was too close to domestic sheep to let him return to the wild herd and risk infecting other animals.

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Information from: Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com

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