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Large herd of bighorn sheep take a stroll in Penticton neighbourhood

The rare sighting was caught on camera before they fled back up the hills
Bighorn sheep use the sidewalk on a residential street on Carmi Avenue and Cleland St on Monday. The large herd didn’t visit long. (Brian Hesla)

A large herd of bighorn sheep decided to go for a stroll closer to town than they’ve been before, even using the sidewalk on Monday.

Brian Hesla caught the scene on camera and said he was quite shocked to see that many crossing Carmi Avenue in a residential area.

“I’ve seen them crossing up by the power station for a few weeks but I haven’t seen this many all at once,” said Hesla.

The bighorn crossed the street as a group but something spooked them and they ran up Carmi and back into the hills, he said. Pentictonites are used to seeing urban deer, even using the bike lane last week, but thankfully, bighorn sheep don’t usually come into town.

Bighorn make surprise visit in Penticton neighbourhood on Monday. (Brian Hesla)
Bighorn make surprise visit in Penticton neighbourhood on Monday. (Brian Hesla)

Last week, a large herd of about 70 elk were spotted resting in the snow up Campbell Mountain.

READ MORE: Herd of elk visit Penticton mountain

This time of year, bighorn can sometimes be found on the side of Highway 3 in Ollala or in around Okanagan Falls on Eastside Road. They come down to lick the salt on the road.

The Ministry of Transportation has been working to mitigate wildlife encounters on B.C. roads and has come up with some creative ideas. One pilot project is providing salt-lick stations to steer mountain goats away from highways. The ministry also uses dog hair to deter big horn sheep from roadsides in the Kootenays.

VIDEO: Bighorn sheep find road salt irresistible in the Okanagan

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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