In late April, PGA West golf resort reported an injured lamb to the Institute and wildlife agencies. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) went to the golf course to check on the lamb, but Animal Control had already taken the lamb from a homeowner's yard. A CDFW biologist retrieved the lamb from Animal Control, but the damage had already been done. The lamb had been taken to a facility that has previously housed domestic sheep and goats, therefore, it could not come to Bighorn Institute nor be released back into the wild due to potential disease concerns. It is a most unfortunate turn of events since bighorn sheep are incredibly resilient and the 2 month old female lamb could have been nursed by its mother and possibly recovered from its injury.
We received reports that an adult ewe was roaming around PGA West vocalizing, apparently looking for her lamb, likely the one taken from the wild. This is a glaring example of why bighorn do not do well in an urban environment. It is most unfortunate that the sheep are down in the urban areas of La Quinta and disappointing that this ewe had her lamb taken from her. These bighorn are endangered and CDFW and Bighorn Institute have special permits to capture or handle them. If you see a potential bighorn problem, call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 760-322-2070, CDFW 909-484-0167 or Bighorn Institute 760-346-7334.