Aoudad Ram

Very few people have ever heard of the aoudad ram, which is a species in the caprid family. This means that the aoudad ram is a species that is half antelope and half goat. What most people know the aoudad ram as, is a barberry sheep. This animal is native to North Africa, but is much rarer to see there than other areas where it was later introduced. You can now see the aoudad ram roaming around North America, and some areas around the southern portion of Europe.

Aoudad Ram Hunts at Squaw Mountain Ranch

What Size is the Normal Aoudad Ram?

The aoudad ram is between 2.5 feet and 3.3 feet at its withers, or at the top of its shoulder. Males are larger than females in terms of both height and weight. They weigh as little as 88-90 pounds, and can go up to as high as a bit over 300 pounds. Their horns, which curve out, back, then in again, are typically about 20 inches long. The horns also typically have a triangular section at the base. The horns are typically smooth to the touch, with some slight wrinkles becoming noticeable as the rams get older and become mature.

What Does the Aoudad Ram Look Like?

The typical aoudad ram is a sandy beige color. The color gets darker to become a reddish or grayish brown as they get older. Their back has a stripe along it that is darker than the rest of their fur. Plus, their belly is often lighter than the rest of their body. They have a slight mane to them if they are male. Both males and females also have long hair that extends from their throats down towards their chests. Their legs tend to take on more of the coloring than the rest of their body.

What Does the Aoudad Ram Eat?

Since the aoudad ram typically lives in dry, rocky, mountainous areas, they tend to eat foods found there as well. This includes lots of grasses, plus lichens and bushes. It depends on what they can find as they graze. This species of animal can get all of the water it needs from the food it eats. However, when there is water around, they do enjoy drinking it. Plus, they like to roll around and wallow in the water as a fun activity. They are very strong, and can jump as high as seven feet from a standing position. This requires a lot of energy to pull off. So, to make sure they have plenty of energy, they eat in the early morning and late afternoon hours. They take time to rest when the day is hottest as a way to conserve energy.

How Do Adult Aoudad Rams Behave?

Aoudad rams are very alert creatures. They are very in tune to what is going on around them. While breeding can occur during any time of the year, the most common times are between early September and late November each year. Aoudads reach sexual maturity around 18 months old, and can have kids two times per year.

It is very common for them to have twins, but triplets are seen regularly when there is a lot of food around. The kids are totally weaned and able to manage sufficiently on their own by 3 to 4 months of age. The moment they are born, the aoudad has to be able to manage climbing and maneuvering rocks. They are quite agile and adept at this within a few hours of birth.

Adult aoudad rams also love to run and chase around. They play like this. They climb up and down the rocks of the mountains they live on, with ease. Plus, they can literally jump straight up in the air as much as seven feet, without any type of running start. This makes them quite fun to observe, plus quite playful when in their habitat.

What Is the Population Like for the Aoudad Ram?

The aoudad ram typically lives between 15 and 20 years. When in captivity, they tend to live towards the longer end of the spectrum. They are rarely seen in their native habitats anymore, as they are often hunted. So, they have been introduced to many different parts of the world that have similar climates. Many of the introduced packs have done quite well, helping the population resurge. However, they are still regularly hunted all around the world. Since they are so alert and notice even the smallest noise due to their impeccable hearing, they are considered a challenge to hunt. That is part of what the draw is for many hunters.

Do You Want to Come and See an Aoudad Ram?

Unless you spend a lot of time high in the mountains, you are not likely going to run into an aoudad ram on your own. So, if you want to come and see one up close, you should come and see them here at the Squaw Mountain Ranch. We help take care of our animals and share information about them with each of our visitors. The more we can teach the people who come here about these amazing creatures, the more likely those visitors are going to be to take care of the planet and protect these species.

We take great pride in educating everyone that comes through our ranch about the animals we have here. These animals were placed in our care, and we will always do what is necessary to replicate their natural environments to take care of them. We study what they would normally eat, how they would normally move about, and what they would normally be surrounded by. Then, we do our best to match that with the environment we give them. To find out how we do that, come in and see us. We will talk with you about how we set up each exhibit and keep each animal happy and healthy.

For more information on this, and other rare animal species, contact us here at Squaw Mountain Ranch. We can be reached at (830)275-3277. Let us help introduce you to the amazing aoudad ram, and other similar creatures!

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