(CNN)Three workforce of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Office had been killed in a helicopter crash Saturday though conducting aerial surveys for desert bighorn sheep, according to officers.
The 3 persons killed ended up identified as biologist Dewey Stockbridge, wildlife technician Brandon White and veterinarian Bob Dittmar, in accordance to a Sunday push launch from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division.
“No words can start to convey the depth of unhappiness we feel for the loss of our colleagues in this tragic incident,” Carter Smith, executive director of TPWD, claimed in the statement.
“These guys ended up consummate pros, deeply appreciated and highly regarded by their peers and companions alike for the immense enthusiasm, determination, and expertise they introduced to their essential do the job in wildlife administration and veterinary medicine,” he explained.
The helicopter pilot, a non-public contractor, survived the crash and was transported to a medical center in El Paso, according to the statement. TPWD did not launch any facts on the cause of the crash.
The group was traveling over TPWD’s Black Hole Wildlife Administration Place in Brewster County to conduct exploration on the desert bighorn sheep. The region borders Big Bend National Park and spans about a hundred,000 acres, according to TPWD, .
Texas wildlife officials have been instrumental in restoring numbers of desert bighorn sheep just after the inhabitants reduced thanks to illness and unregulated searching, in accordance to TPWD, which estimated the bighorn’s inhabitants in Texas at 1,five hundred in 2018.
Stockbridge worked on conservation of the species for various a long time. In 2016, throughout an job interview with Outside Magazine, he spoke on the significance of taking care of the herds.
“When you reintroduce desert bighorn in a landscape these as Elephant Mountain listed here, it is seriously a trickledown outcome,” he explained. “There are a lot of other species that benefit from them getting reintroduced to certain mountain ranges.”
Officers conduct aerial surveys all through the calendar year to observe inhabitants measurement and notice the animal’s actions.
Dittmar joined the TPWD as the agency’s initial-at any time staff veterinarian in 2014, in accordance to the company. Earlier, he assisted in different initiatives with the company and was in non-public observe in Kerrville, northwest of San Antonio.
“My wife’s telling all people that I am heading to be earning sure that my grandkids and excellent grandkids have wildlife to delight in in the long run,” Dittmar mentioned in an job interview with TPWD in 2014. “I’m likely to be a component helping to make sure that our wildlife populations are balanced, and hunting at it much more from a veterinary medical standpoint than strictly a administration and biological standpoint.”
The Texas Division of Public Protection, Federal Aviation Administration and Texas Video game Wardens are investigating the crash.
“Our hearts ache currently for those who died in this tragic incident,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott reported.