Officials Deal With Injured Big Horn Sheep

On May 14, at approximately 7:49 p.m., the Watford City Police Department and McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of an injured big horn sheep that was located in the 400 block of 5th St. NE.

Upon arrival, it was observed that the animal appeared to be significantly injured; blood was observed on the animal’s mouth, neck and chest.

It is common practice to dispatch injured wild animals within city limits. North Dakota Game and Fish requested local law enforcement officers to dispatch this animal. Post-mortem testing of this animal was required by Game and Fish in addition to the concern of an injured wild animal roaming within city limits. Tranquilization and relocation of the animal were considered but not feasible at this time.

The animal had bedded in a less than ideal location. Given the importance of the call, the growing attention of the situation, and the likelihood of the animal remaining at large within the city limits, a decision to dispatch the animal in its current surroundings was made.

Unfortunately, even with the precautionary measures taken in the process of dispatching the animal, fragmentations of the rounds fired appear to have ricocheted after striking the ground sending the fragments airborne. At this time, it is believed that only minor property damage occurred.

Chief Wellen offers a public apology for the additional concerns this incident has created. WCPD and MCSO take great pride in the professionalism that our agencies offer in addition to our service to our community.

WCPD and MCSO continue to investigate the incident with the assistance of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.


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