Bighorn sheep release

Thirty-one bighorn sheep were transplanted to the Catalinas in November.

Benjie Sanders / Arizona Daily Star 2013

Another bighorn sheep has died in the Catalina Mountains, the Arizona Game and Fish Department reported Monday.

It's the 16th bighorn to die since 31 sheep were relocated from the Yuma area to the range north of Tucson in November.

Wildlife officers confirmed the death of the bighorn ewe on Sunday and determined it was the victim of a mountain lion, said a notice on the Game and Fish Department website.

Most of the bighorn deaths have been the result of predation by mountain lions. Three lions have been killed at the department's direction for preying on sheep.

Spokespersons for the agency were in meetings Monday and not immediately available for comment on whether the lion in the most recent incident will be pursued.

The bighorns were relocated to the Catalinas in an effort to rebuild a herd that disappeared from the range in the 1990s.