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Bighorn Sheep Killed In Hit-And-Run After Escaping The L.A. Zoo

A desert bighorn in a more natural environment that isn't Los Feliz. (Photo by Guoqiang Xue via Shutterstock)
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A bighorn sheep escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo earlier Saturday afternoon and its few hours of freedom came to a tragic end when it reportedly was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The sheep, a female, had escaped the zoo around 1:20 p.m. and a search of the animal in Griffith Park commenced, including zookeepers, park rangers, and a police helicopter. The ewe was finally found on the 2200 block of North Commonwealth Avenue in Los Feliz and contained, but ABC 7 reports that a driver hit and killed the animal. The driver left the scene without stopping.

The zoo is located on the northern side of Griffith Park and would have had to have crossed the Santa Monica Mountains to reach its final destination. "I'm not sure they knew how it escaped," Lieutenant Richard Parks of the Los Angeles Police Department told KPCC.

Desert bighorn sheep are the most common of the subspecies of bighorns that live in California, and the nearest population can be found in the San Gabriel Mountains. In October, President Obama signed an executive order protecting the mountains as the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.