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Wild Sheep Family Mourns Loss


August 11, 2020
posted in: News

Three Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) employees tragically lost their lives on August 9 in a helicopter crash while conducting bighorn sheep surveys on the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area in Brewster Country, Texas. 
 
The crash claimed the lives of Wildlife Biologist Dewey Stockbridge, Fish and Wildlife Technician Brandon White, and State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Bob Dittmar. The pilot, the only survivor, was transported to a hospital in El Paso. No word as to his condition at this time.
 
“I’m deeply honored to have had the opportunity to work side by side with these great men,” said Clay Brewer, Conservation Director, Bighorn Sheep Program for the Wild Sheep Foundation and 25-year veteran of TPWD. “The impact they’ve made on the natural resources of Texas will not be forgotten. I am brokenhearted beyond words by the loss of these friends.  They leave a hole that can never be filled.  The heartfelt messages of support from other conservation professionals across the West have been overwhelming.” 
 
“The fine folks who devote their lives to wildlife conservation are a family, regardless of what hat or patch they wear,” said Gray N. Thornton, president and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “We use the term Wild Sheep Family to describe the joy, friendships, and fun we have together working for a common cause. Tragic news like this reminds us all that there is another side to family. We mourn our losses and remember the lives dedicated to something we all believe in very deeply. We extend our sincerest condolences to the Stockbridge, White, and Dittmar families, and their colleagues at Texas Parks and Wildlife during this trying time.”

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