4Th desert bighorn sheep found dead near Tucson

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona Game and Fish officials say a fourth bighorn sheep that had been released in a mountain range north of Tucson has died.

The agency announced Friday that an adult ewe was killed by a mountain lion. The carcass was found Dec. 9.

The state wildlife agency released 31 bighorn sheep into the Santa Catalina Mountains on Nov. 18.

The previously reported deaths include two sheep killed by mountain lions, which were then tracked and killed by Game and Fish personnel.

One of those two bighorns killed reportedly was pregnant.

The first death was an adult ram found Nov. 27. Authorities say the death likely was caused by a condition called "capture myopathy" that's associated with the build-up of lactic acid in muscle tissue that can lead to heart failure.

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