Common name: Bighorn Sheep
Scientific name: Ovis canadensis
At the zoo: Saturnin (male, 8y), Lutin (male, 8y), Demi-Lune (female, 11y), Blanca (female, 10y), Olive (female, 9y), Popcorn (female, 4y), Dodge and Hemi (twin brothers, 1y), and Tekarra (female, 1y)) - you can find them in the middle of the zoo beside the Mountain Goats. Check out Blanca's new baby Indigo, born on June 5th!
Bighorn sheep are found in the mountainous regions of western North America.
Herbivorous: grasses, sedges, forbs
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Biology & Conservation:
Bighorn sheep have a tan coat with a white rump and muzzle. Both sexes have thick curved horns which are much larger on the male. They weigh 53 - 127 kilograms and are 1.5 - 1.8 metres long.
There is intense competition between male bighorn sheep during mating season. Male dominance is determined by age as well as horn size. A large male's horns can weigh as much as 14 kilograms! A head-to-head battle will continue until one male concedes. Some battles can last as long as 24 hours!
As a whole the species is secure with distinct populations threatened with extinction. Their main threats include illegal hunting, competition with livestock, and habitat loss.
Bighorn sheep have excellent eyesight which helps them jump from ledge to ledge.