British Columbia is home to some
of the most magnificent animals on earth.
The Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep are
difficult to spot on the steep hillsides and
cliff faces they favor. Their richly coloured brown
coats and white rumps blend perfectly
into the surrounding landscape.
The males, or rams, have some pretty impressive horns
to show off. The larger the horns, the older the ram.
The keratin in the horns grows like the rings on a trees,
laid down a layer at a time. That is, if you
get close enough to count them.
I was perfectly happy watching this herd
from a distance, since it was mating season
and the males seemed a bit grumpy and
not at all happy watching silly people with
cameras poking around their harems.
Sadly, these incredible animals are
under threat from both habitat
encroachment and hunting. I actually
found more information on Big Horn Sheep from
hunting sites on the internet than I did
wildlife management or conservation sites.
I can not even imagine what our
world would be like to loose these
truly amazing animals.