Wrangling Boulder’s Bighorns

Bighorn Sheep in Boulder City, Nevada

Most Boulder City residents love watching the bighorn sheep at Hemenway Park, dozing peacefully under the shade trees. But what happens when they stray close to the highway or decide to hang out on a neighbor’s deck? That’s when Ann Inabnitt, BC’s Animal Control Supervisor, gets a call.

We asked Ann how she goes about wrangling these powerful animals. By positioning her truck and using noise (blowing the horn, banging) she carefully, patiently, herds them where they need to go. This works well most of the time, though she tells us there are a few characters!

Ann’s nemesis is Greta, an ornery ewe with lots of attitude. Greta doesn’t like being told what to do. With finessing, she’ll move eventually, but at a glacial pace…

Sometimes the bighorns are in places the truck can’t go. Ann sets out on foot to herd them. As you can imagine it can be dangerous. She had a brush with death when a massive ram charged straight for her (they can reach 20 mph). Ann stood her ground, yelling and waving her arms and only at the last second did he break off the attack, passing beside her with inches to spare. Ann jokes her obituary would read “death by sheep”.

Thank you, Ann Inabnitt, American matador, and a very brave woman, for keeping BC’s bighorns and people safe!

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