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Rare sight: young Bighorn rams on University of Montana campus




“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (2) – 6/1/20

Bighorn sheep are a relatively rare sight, even in their natural habitat, so when a couple of sheep decided to first graze along the M on Mountain Sentinel in Missoula, already unusual, before heading down to campus to munch the quad at the University of Montana, they quickly created a buzz. Photos shared via the UM twitter show the sheep walking along sidewalks in front of academic buildings, scoping out the relatively empty campus due to COVID-19 closures. The sheep join the ranks of wildlife around the world heading into urban spaces as human activity dissipates, such as the goats roaming the streets of Llandudno, Wales, wild boars taking to the roads of Sassari, Italy, dolphins swimming the canals of Venice, Italy and a mountain lion walking around Santiago, Chile. “It makes sense that if there’s not a lot of people and a lot of dogs and they’re not getting harassed, they might seek that green grass and hit the valley floor,” Morgan Valliant, conservation lands manager for the city of Missoula, told the Missoula Current. “I’d imagine not having a lot of people on campus probably helps and they feel a little more comfortable.”

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