Animals that inhabit vegetative communities where thorns and spines are common should be capable of moving while avoiding injury from thorns and spines. On 21 December 2003, we found that a saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) spine had penetrated the lacrimal bone into the orbit of a desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in south-central Arizona. The animal was observed with clinical infectious keratoconjunctivitis and was blind for 3 weeks prior to death. It is likely that the animal collided with a saguaro cactus after she became blinded by disease.
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Vol. 50 • No. 4