Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mountain Sheep

I took this photo of Mountain Sheep (also known as Bighorn or Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep) in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Originally these sheep ranged from the Canadian Rockies south as northern Mexico. The race in the Black Hills, the Audubon’s Bighorn, became extinct by 1910. Reintroductions from Montana and Wyoming occurred in 1922, but these animals succumbed to disease in the early 1960s. In 1964 and 1991, sheep from various western states and Canada were again reintroduced (Higgins et al. 2000).

To the best of my recollection, the pictographs of Mountain Sheep come from the Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. I may be mistaken, however, as most rock art in the park were created between AD 600 and 1300 (Utah.com). The two upper figures are clearly on horseback, arguing for a time frame after 1492. (If any of my readers recognize these pictographs as being from somewhere else, please let me know.)

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