Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) were near extinction due to diseases via European livestock and unregulated hunting throughout the West. Now, thanks to conservation efforts, the sheep are doing well. The sheep population is stable and continuing to increase. One of the largest native herds resides in Georgetown, Colorado where I recently saw them for myself. *
These sheep are commonly confused with Mountain Goats (Oreamnos americanus) who live in mountainous regions of the Rockies as well. Bighorn Sheep tend to live around 15 years and participate in head-to-head combat! These iconic figures are a big part of Colorado's local culture. But those who encroach on their habitat can face fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment. So remember to give them their space and educate yourself about local wildlife whether you're at home or traveling the states!