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Animals dangling out of helicopters? It’s all for their health and safety

Animals are captured and taken to a Division of Wildlife Resources facility. (Photo: UtahDWR Twitter)

SALT LAKE CITY – Starting November 28th, Utahns may notice animals dangling in nets outside of helicopters. The animals may include bison, deer and bighorn sheep. 

However, the Division of Wildlife Resources says not to worry. It actually helps the animals. 

Spokeswoman Faith Heaton Jolley said the helicopter rides are part of the division’s annual capture season. 

They need to use helicopters and nets because many of the animals live in remote, hard-to-reach places.

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“The helicopter really positions us in a way that we, a) find them a lot quicker and easier, and b) have that access so that we can make sure that we’re able to quickly get them with a net gun,” Jolley said. 

The animals are then taken to a location where biologists can perform a health check and fit the animal with a GPS tracker. 

“These things help us determine how well they’ll be able to survive over the winter and where they’re migrating throughout the state,” Jolley said.

It also helps the environment.

“So that we know which areas we should implement habitat projects to help them get more feed sources.” 

The animals are then returned to their herds once they are checked and fitted with a tracker. 

The DWR will mostly be tracking deer, pronghorn sheep, and bighorn sheep.