LAS VEGAS (AP) — A lamb that was on the lam for hours after a tractor-trailer crash in Nevada killed 74 other sheep has been caught and will be adopted by a foster family.
The female lamb nicknamed Dodger wandered off from the crash site and was missing in the desert overnight before being captured Tuesday, officials said.
"We call her Dodger because of the traffic she survived on the highway," said Ann Inabnitt, Boulder City Animal Control supervisor.
Dodger and five other sheep ran loose Monday after a big rig overturned and sent its animal cargo onto U.S. 95. It shut down traffic on part of the highway near Boulder City. The driver was cited for speeding and wasn't hurt.
Inabnitt said two holes had to be cut into the trailer so handlers could free the 250 sheep going from Cedar City, Utah, to Yuma, Arizona, for shearing. Most of the animals were adults weighing about 100 pounds. Dodger, born last spring, was one of three lambs.
A total of 74 sheep died and five others were injured. The animals landed on top of each other and upside down, likely causing suffocation. Other injuries included scrapes, cuts on hooves and broken legs.
"Unfortunately when these things happen, they smother each other," Inabnitt said.
Five of the six sheep that ran off were recaptured later Monday and taken back by the owners. Inabnitt was told it would cost too much for the company to come back again for the missing lamb, so they relinquished custody to animal control.
"They said, 'If you find it, you can have it,'" Inabnitt said.
Dodger spent the night in the desert before being spotted on the highway early Tuesday. It took about 50 people four hours to finally catch her, including cowboys from the nearby horseman's association who would eventually lasso the lamb.
"They were finally able to wear her down," Inabnitt said.
Dodger was hungry, thirsty and tired but she wasn't hurt. A foster family from the association took her in and said they would adopt her. Inabnitt said Dodger is now keeping "a very lonely" female goat company.
"They have a big goat that has been by herself and when we put the lamb in there, they started rubbing against each other," Inabnitt said. "It worked out. I wasn't going to allow her to be food. "