Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is the official state animal of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep was entitled to the official Colorado state animal in 1961. Ovis canadensis Canadensis is the scientific name of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. It is commonly known as Bighorn sheep, which are native to the mountains from Canada south to New Mexico.
Bighorn inhabits alpine meadows, grassy mountain slopes and foothill country near rugged, rocky cliffs and bluffs. On May 1, 1961, by an act of the General Assembly was adopted the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep as the official state animal of Colorado. Referred the Citation: Senate Bill 294, 1961; Colorado Revised Statute 24-80-911.
State animal of Colorado Facts—
- Common Name: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep or bighorn sheep.
- Scientific Name: Ovis canadensis Canadensis
- Color: from light brown to grayish or dark brown, and have a white rump and lining on the backs of all four legs.
- Height: Males (rams) are 3 – 3 ½ feet; Females (ewes) are little smaller.
- Weight: Males typically weigh 125–315 lb, are 90–105 cm tall at the shoulder, and 1.6–1.85 m long from the nose to the tail. Females are usually 34–91 kg, 75–90 cm tall, and 1.28–1.58 m long from the nose to the tail.
- Diet: Bighorn sheep eat grasses or sedges, woody plants, such as willow, sage and rabbit brush, desert holly and desert cactus.
- Cubs: Babies of the Bighorn sheep called lamb. The female bighorn (ewes) have a gestation period of six-month. In moderate climates, the rut occurs in November with one, or rarely two and lambs being born in May.
- Behavior: Bighorn sheep usually lives in flocks of about 5 to 15 ewes, lambs, yearlings, and two-year-olds, which are turn to 100 in the winter.
- Lifespan: The lifespan of ewes 10–14 years and for rams is usually 9–12 years.
Colorado’s state animal Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep have separate names of both male and female. The male Bighorn sheep called ram and identified through his huge brown horns while the female bighorn sheep are called ewe, which also has horns but little shorter and smaller than ram. The bighorn sheep have short brown pelt with a white muzzle and rump patch.