The Original Sheep

This male mouflon is the first one that I have seen and was out near Picón. I first thought it was a dead goat on the hill I was scanning for owls or raptors, but then the horns came into view and the large head. It´s a fairly large sheep although some domestic breeds can be bigger.

They say the Mouflon is one of two original ancestors of the domestic breeds of sheep we have. It doesn´t have much wool, but the horns and head do look similar. They have a range including the Caucasus, Northern Iraq and Northwestern Iran. Orginally their range was more extensive and reached as far as the Balkans 3000 years ago. Nowadays they are found on Mediterranean islands where they were introduced in neolithic times, on continental Europe, and as far away as South America, Hawaii and even the Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Here in Spain, and many other places where they were introduced, they are used for hunting. People pay a lot to come to Spain to shoot these fine animals. They do have horns that any hunter would love to have on his trophy wall. It will cost you anywhere between 2000 and 3000 euros depending on the size of the animal. Personally though, I think that it looks just fine where it is, up there on the hill chewing its food, and just looking good in general.

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