Bighorn sheep get helicopter ride during Game & Parks processing in the Panhandle

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CHADRON, Neb. (WOWT) -- A helicopter crew aiding Nebraska Game & Parks Commission with the capture and processing of bighorn in the state's panhandle helped a few sheep get airborne earlier this week.

A Nebraska Game and Parks Commission team assisted by South Dakota State University volunteers processes bighorn sheep in the Wildcat Hills near McGrew, Neb.

South Dakota State University volunteers also assisted NGPC in the capture and processing of 48 sheep on Monday and Tuesday.

According to a release from NGPC, wildlife professionals have been keeping a close eye on Nebraska’s bighorn sheep in recent years in order to combat issues with disease, most notably Mycoplasma pneumonia.

Seven chronically ill ewes from Pine Ridge were taken to SDSU in Brookings for additional study, the release states.

Sheep processed this week were given new tracking collars and ear tags. They also underwent a series of tissue samples and vaccinations to help study lamb mortality before they were released.

The helicopter crew has been contracted to stay in the Cornhusker State through the remainder of the week to capture mule deer for a study led by the University of Nebraska.