HELENA- A replica of a world record-breaking Bighorn Ram Skull was presented to Governor Steve Bullock by the Wild Sheep Foundation at the Capitol building in Helena on September 18.
The replica was given to the Governor after a promise was made that the original Bighorn Ram would be used to raise funds for Montana’s State Parks and is one of 20 made.
A ram that lived on Wild Horse Island in Flathead Lake currently holds the world record for its horns at 216 and ⅜ points.
Other replicas were donated to other chapters and affiliates of the Wild Sheep Foundation from around the US to be sold at auction. Each chapter or affiliate kept 50% of what was earned to put into wild sheep conservation efforts in their state.
Montana State Parks was to receive the other 50%, and in June, they were presented a check for $36,000 from what was raised from the auctions.
“We stepped up and said we need to make sure that everything that we leave today is going to be better off for tomorrow,” Bullock said, “So it’s significant for both the contributions from a wildlife perspective but also we’re making things better for that next generation.”
In Montana, the Wild Sheep Foundation has increased the population in the state through years of conservation efforts. Bighorn conservation efforts in the Treasure State include two prescribed burns, tagging sheep to track and relocate them and creating a conservation easement.
The bighorn skull replica will be on display in the Capitol building as a representation of the work of the wildlife conservation efforts in Montana.