8th Bighorn Sheep Day Feb. 16 at Visitor Center
Whether the free-roaming animals themselves will appear is anyone's guess, but festivities are planned in any case for the eighth annual Bighorn Sheep Day at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center Saturday, Feb. 16.
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is at 1805 N. 30th St. There is no charge.
Activities will include guided walks, telescope-provided viewing stations (both on the center's deck and at the Mesa Road overlook), presentations in the center's theater, information tables and youth craft opportunities.
A free shuttle bus will be available to take people to the overlook.
The walks will start from the center hourly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Theater presentations will be:
- 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., a children's wildlife game.
- 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mary Taylor Gray discussing mammals.
- 1 to 2 p.m., small, live animals from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
- 2 to 3 p.m., a Colorado Parks and Wildlife talk on bighorn sheep biology and the impacts of forest fires.
Other entities involved are the City of Colorado Springs, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Society, National Forest Service, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Bear Creek Nature Center, Friends of the Garden of the Gods (FOGG) and Gray Line (donated shuttle service).
A new display this year is a “permanent mount of a real bighorn sheep skull complete with real horns on the table in the upper lobby,” according to John Demmon of FOGG
The annual event celebrates the accidental creation of the area's Rampart herd after a truck carrying 14 bighorns broke down in 1946 near Green Mountain Falls and the animals were let go. The herd now numbers about 70.
For the annual event, bighorns have been visible from either or both viewing stations every year except 2012 when the only ones spotted were behind the Verizon building off 30th and Garden of the Gods Road.
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