Nebraska has been on a mission since 1981 to establish free-ranging bighorn sheep in the Pine Ridge and Wildcat Hills for viewing, photography and hunting.
Last week, a team of 19 people gathered by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission planted 40 bighorns in the Pine Ridge after a whirlwind, seven-day, 2,600-mile expedition to western Canada. The sheep were captured with Canadian help at a reclaimed coal mine near Hinton, Alberta.
World-Herald staffers David Hendee and Alyssa Schukar chronicled the journey of Nebraska's fifth herd since the reintroduction program began.
Officials expect to name the new herd after the Sowbelly Ranch, the private land where they were released near Harrison and Fort Robinson State Park.
The new arrivals brought Nebraska's bighorn population to about 355. The goal is to establish a stable population divided between the Pine Ridge and Wildcat Hills and increase their numbers in future years.
The original Nebraska bighorns began to disappear in the late 1800s, lost to declining habitat, unregulated hunting and disease carried by domestic livestock.
Scroll down to relive the experience.