Bighorn Sheep (which looks more like a goat to me)

Bighorn Sheep - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Bighorn Sheep – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This dainty female bighorn sheep lives in Zion National Park in Utah. Zion has the perfect landscape for these sure-footed animals which gracefully hop around on very treacherous-looking cliff faces with incredible ease. They can navigate these terrains even as little lambs because pregnant mothers seek higher ground to give birth which is safer from predators. However, the areas that are safer from predators are less favorable for growing sufficient vegetation, so as soon as the lambs are agile on their feet they will follow their mother back down the cliff faces to find food. These animals are native to North America and their numbers suffered greatly with the introduction of domestic sheep which carry pathogens that are easily spread to wild populations. To me these bighorn sheep look more like goats and equally amusing to me, the white and fluffy mountain goats look more like sheep.  Zion has a herd of over 400 sheep and is a great location to see these gorgeous creatures which are most often spotted between the tunnel and east entrance to the park.

For other posts about Zion National Park please click here.

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9 thoughts on “Bighorn Sheep (which looks more like a goat to me)

  1. Nice photo and narrative Laura. I’ve always been in awe of the climbing ability of bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Even with specialized hooves their mobility over precipitous terrain seems impossible. Would like to see them in the wild sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nick,
      Thanks for your comment. They certainly are nimble in navigating the most incredibly sheer ascents. I hope you do get to see some in the wild, it’s very cool. Zion is for many reasons well worth the trip!

      Like

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