Bighorn sheep are considered a bovid, which is a large hoofed mammal. There are five native species of bovid in North America: American bison, mountain goat, muskox, Dall’s sheep, and bighorn sheep. Bovids have true horns, which are permanent bony outgrowths on the frontal lobe, the horns are hollow and never branched. The bighorn sheep rams have large curved horns, while the ewes have short horns with little curve. Bighorn sheep can be found in rocky slopes, ridges, cliffs, canyons, alpine meadows, or desert areas in the West. They feed on grasses in summer and woody plants in winter. Bighorn sheep are prey to mountain lions, golden eagles, wolves, coyotes, bears, bobcats, and lynx. The eagles attack lambs, but the sheep can get away from the others fairly easy. They are athletic swimmers, rock climbers and jumpers.

These Bighorn sheep were in Tucson, Arizona. I love that this ewe is sticking her tongue out at me, it makes for a fun picture. But, the reason she may be doing it could be from Bluetongue, which  is a non-contagious, viral disease spread by biting insects, including midges, which affects species of ruminants, particularly sheep.

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