It’s extremely hot and drysummer weather that has an impact not only on us, but on southern Arizona wildlife as well.

KGUN 9 viewer Marla Handler shared these photos of bighorn sheep in her backyard just yesterday looking for water I talked to her, and to Arizona Game and Fish, about these unique sightings.

“Quite often we see these guys and they’re just looking for water, looking for food. It’s just really exciting,” Handler tells me.

Exciting, especially for those who live at the top of Swan in the Catalina Foothills like Handler.

In June, as we wait for the arrival of monsoon rain, we often see wildlife coming down from the mountains and into populated areas.

“It’s thrilling for area residents to see the Bighorn Sheep. Usually they’re high up and hard to see, says Mark Hart of AZGFD. “But it’s a cautionary tale a little bit, because they, like a lot of other wildlife right now, are seeking water.”

Hart points out that animals like Bighorn Sheep are built for the harsh Arizona summers.

The real danger is when they enter neighborhoods.

“We don’t want them lingering in residential areas for fear that might get hit by a car,” says Hart.

He says after you get your pictures of the Bighorn Sheep, try to get them to head back up into the mountains.

“Try and haze them away by waiving your arms, making noise. We want them up in the higher elevations. Not down in the valley,” Hart says.

“When they see us they usually turn around and then head back towards the mountain. Then we see them actually, as they go one by one back behind each other, go back up.”

Arizona Game and Fish also gets reports of other wildlife seeking water this time of year, including mountain lions.

And right now, Game and Fish are dealing with a bear in the Benson area.

“Same goes for bears,” Hart tells me. “If you see a bear, haze it away. Make noise, yell. We don’t want him, obviously in your community.”


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