Leaves
Leaves

Barbary Sheep

Zoo Location: Savannah
Barbary Sheep
Habitat

Mountains, particularly high desert.

Wild Diet

Grass, herbs, leaves and twigs. They obtain water by licking dew.

Behaviour

They are the only sheep that are indigenous to Africa. Their mane is long, soft and thick on the throat, chest and upper forelegs. Barbary sheep are sure-footed climbers and can jump more than 2 metres (6 feet) high. Because of a lack of vegetation in their habitat, they hide and blend in with the background by standing motionless whenever danger threatens. They live in small family parties consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring.

Breeding

1 or 2 lambs are born after a gestation of 150 days (5 months).

Threats

Hunting for food and skin.

Conservation

Within Algeria and Chad Barbary sheep are fully protected by law and occur in some national parks. In Egypt some areas of their previous range are being evaluated for possible reintroduction. Zoo populations are managed co-operatively.

Barbary Sheep

INFORMATION

  • Latin Name: Ammotragus lervia
  • Class: Mammals
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable