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Bighorn sheep block morning traffic on B.C.’s Highway 97

This herd of three bighorn sheep caused quite a spectacle on Highway 97 in West Kelowna, B.C., on June 30, 2020.
This herd of three bighorn sheep caused quite a spectacle on Highway 97 in West Kelowna, B.C., on June 30, 2020. Alysha Dawn Edwards

RCMP responded to a rather unusual traffic situation in West Kelowna, B.C., late Tuesday morning.

Police were called to Highway 97 near Butt Road around 11 a.m. after three bighorn sheep had wandered onto the busy street.

RCMP were called to Highway 97 and Butt Road in West Kelowna Tuesday morning to help direct a herd of bighorn sheep off the road.
RCMP were called to Highway 97 and Butt Road in West Kelowna Tuesday morning to help direct a herd of bighorn sheep off the road. RCMP

“It’s definitely more unusual to see them out on the highway,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy. “But it’s not uncommon to have to move them off Westside Road and a few other places around here.”

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A marked police vehicle stayed behind the group of animals to slow traffic down.

Read more: Taller wildlife fencing to be installed along Coquihalla Highway

Tina Marie Tronson was driving on the highway at the time and was one of many who spotted the sheep.

“I thought, ‘Wow, you don’t see this every day,'” Tronson said. “I was really think I wonder what made them come down from the mountains. Maybe a bear was trying to get them?”

Officers made sure the animals left the road safely and got back into the hills.

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“It took about 30 minutes to ensure that they had definitely decided they weren’t going to head back into danger,” Noseworthy said.

Read more: California bighorn sheep illegally shot and killed near Kelowna