Animal Facts Aoudad

Many people, when seeing the word aoudad, wonder what in the world this could be. They may not even know that it’s a type of animal, but indeed it is. The aoudad is a type of sheep and a very large one at that. This is not the wooly sheep that we are accustomed to seeing in the farm fields, but is a wild sheep that lives in the mountains. Now that you know what an aoudad is, here are some other facts about this animal that you may find interesting.

*Aoudad is actually pronounced “ow dad”, like something a child would say when they fall down.

*Aoudads live in the mountains of North Africa normally, but have been brought to the United States (primarily Texas) and to Spain, where they are hunted for sport.

*Aoudads, when fully mature, can weigh over two hundred pounds. They stand 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall at the shoulders.

*At birth, the aoudad only weighs about nine or ten pounds.

*The aoudad sheep can live over twenty years in the wild.

*The pregnancy of the female sheep is 149 days and she will usually deliver only one baby per gestation. She will have two deliveries most years.

*All aoudad have a beard-like covering of hair on the throat, but the males have this covering down the chest all the way to the feet.

*Aoudads are red or brown in coloring and may have varying shades of these colors.

*Aoudads have thick, ringed horns. As they age, though, the rings wear down and the horns become smooth. These horns can grow up to three feet in length.

*The height of their breeding season is from September to November.

*Other than man, their primary predator is the leopard.

*At birth, aoudads can not only walk but they can actually traverse rocky mountains.

*Lichen, acacia, and grasses are the main foods of the aoudad sheep. These foods have plenty of liquid in them, so this is what the sheep count on for their water intake. They do occasionally drink if they happen upon a water source, but it is not necessary.

*The aoudad sheep are expert climbers and jumpers. This is necessary for them to be able to travel on the rough, rocky terrain that they live in. They can jump over a six foot tall obstacle with little or no trouble from a standing position.

*The mountains that the aoudad dwells in are in the desert regions.

*Aoudads are commonly known as Barbary Sheep.

*They are most active in the dawn and dusk hours and rest more during the heat of the day in the desert.

*As a means of protecting themselves, aoudad will stand completely still and often go unnoticed by their predator.

*Males will fight by ramming their horns and locking them so that one will bring the other to the ground. These fights are almost always over female sheep. The odd thing about these animals is that they won’t fight another until both are ready for the ramming to take place.

The aoudad is not on the endangered species list at this time. The reason for this is that they are doing quite well in the areas that they have been introduced to. However, in Africa, their original habitat, their numbers are quickly dwindling due to hunters. If this species is to survive in this region, the hunting must slow down. This is up to humans like you and I. If we want to see these animals in their natural habitat, we must do what we can to help them, when they can’t help themselves.