Barbary Sheep

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Related to Aoudad sheep: African aoudad sheep

Barbary Sheep

 

(Ammotragus lervia), ruminant, cloven-footed mammals of the family Bovidae. They occupy an intermediate position between goats and sheep. Body length in adult males is 130–190 cm; height at the withers, 95–100 cm. The males have large horns, up to 70 cm in length, bent to the rear and inward; the female’s horns are much shorter. The body color is reddish-yellow. On the lower part of the neck, chest, and front legs, the hair is longer and forms a thick mane, from whence they are called grivistyi baran in Russian (maned sheep).

Barbary sheep are found in northern Africa. They live in small flocks in hard-to-reach cliff areas of the mountains. Their main food is herbaceous plants. The mating period is at the beginning of winter, and the gestation period is 154–161 days. One or two lambs are born. Barbary sheep were sought for their meat and skin, so that they have been seriously depleted by man. Now their numbers are small and continue to decline. They are protected in most of their range. Barbary sheep thrive and multiply in zoos.