Yellowstone National Park Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep are named for the large, curved horns borne by the males, or rams. Females, or ewes, also have horns, but they are short with only a slight curvature. Sheep range in color from light brown to grayish or dark, chocolate brown, with a white rump and lining on the back of all four legs. Rocky Mountain bighorn females weigh up to 200 pounds, and males occasionally exceed 300 pounds. During the mating season or rut, occurring in November and December, the rams butt heads in apparent sparring for females. Rams' horns can weigh more than 40 pounds, and frequently show broken or broomed tips from repeated clashes. Lambs, usually only one per mother, are born in May and June. They graze on grasses and browse shrubby plants, particularly in fall and winter, and seek minerals at natural salt licks. Bighorns are well adapted to climbing steep terrain where they seek cover from predators such as coyotes, eagles, and mountain lions. They are susceptible to disease such as lungworm, and sometimes fall off cliffs.

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Featured Park
Zion National Park, a place home to the Narrows, Canyon Overlook, Emerald Pools, a petrified forest, a desert swamp, springs and waterfalls, hanging gardens, wildflowers, wildlife and more!
Featured Wildlife
The bighorn sheep is the mammalian symbol of Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Colorado's official animal. Colorado is home to the largest population of the species anywhere. The animals are five to six feet long with a tail three to six inches in length.