Name: Aoudad (Barbary Sheep)
Scientific Name: Ammotragus lervia
(Free Range, All Inclusive, 3 days/4 nights)
Aoudad, or barbary sheep, are native to North Africa and were brought to Texas and New Mexico after WWII. They thrived in the rugged, West Texas mountains and now biologists estimate that there are more than 75,000 of the animals in the Lone Star state. They’re tough, wary, and totally unpredictable—you can watch a band of aoudad hang out in a canyon at sunset and they might travel to the other side of the ranch by morning.
Aoudad are found in arid mountainous areas where they graze and browse grasses, bushes, and lichens. They are able to obtain all their metabolic water from food, but if liquid water is available, they will drink and wallow in it. Aoudad are active in the early morning and late afternoon and rest in the heat of the day. They are very agile and can achieve a standing jump of over 7 feet. They are well adapted to their habitat, which consist of steep rocky mountains and canyons. They often flee at the first sign of danger, typically running uphill. They are extremely nomadic and travel constantly via mountain ranges.
Barbary sheep have been introduced to southeastern Spain, the southwestern United States (Chinati Mountains on La Escalera Ranch, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Palo Duro Canyon, the Trans-Pecos, and other parts of Texas, New Mexico, and California), Niihau Island (Hawaii), Mexico, and some parts of Africa.
West Texas aoudad are some of the biggest in the world, with horns for 8-12 year old rams measuring from 28-34+ inches. Most consider an animal over 30" to be a trophy. Mature rams will have horn bases with circumferences of 12 1/2-14 3/4 inches. Most mature rams weigh in around 250-300 lbs live weight. Aoudad have a long flowing beard that hangs from their neck all the way down to their knees referred to as "chaps."