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Barbary Sheep with Keeper Lachlan

Taronga’s amazing Barbary Sheep herd of 18 have all completed their annual health checks.

After Zoo Veterinarians and keepers spent a whole day with the sheep, anaesthetising and checking them, the ‘Barbs’ as they are known to keepers were all found to be very healthy, just needing a little minor hoof trimming and teeth rasping.

To keep them in top condition they all received parasite control medication and vaccinations.

Here is our herd leader, which we call “The Captain”, recovering after his anaesthetic and being given a helping hand by keeper, Lachlan.

These majestic animals are the only wild sheep found in Africa. They are magnificent to watch as they leap from rock to rock in their exhibit.

They are no classified as Vulnerable in the range across northern African from Algeria to the Sudan.

Remarkably they can exist on the moisture found in their fodder and can jump over two metres from a standing start.

Ironically, the sheep have been introduced to some mountainous areas, such as south western United States and south eastern Spain where they are doing so well that in some instances they can be a threat to local vegetation. 

By Ungulate Keeper, Tracy.

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