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Annual California bighorn sheep count canceled after death

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Posted at 2:43 PM, Jul 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-04 17:43:17-04

BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — An annual count of bighorn sheep scheduled for this weekend in a Southern California desert was canceled after a volunteer died while preparing for the excursion amid scorching heat.

The Union-Tribune says the tally in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park typically draws dozens of volunteers who collect information for scientists monitoring the health of sheep.

Sixty-eight-year-old Don White died June 19 while hiking in to leave water at his count site.

The cause of death is under investigation, but it seems likely overheating played a role. It was 116 degrees that day.

Officials canceled the count and initiated a review of safety protocols.