New Species Alert: Barbary Sheep

Keepers are delighted to announce the arrival of a new species to the Park, a group of Barbary sheep who will now live in the Road Safari's savannah reserve - within a mixed exhibit with a variety of African species.

The group of curious Barbary sheep arrived from Five Sisters Zoo in Scotland just a few weeks ago. After a period of mandatory quarantine, they have now settled into their new home in the Road Safari.

Barbary sheep are a mammal native to the rocky mountains of North Africa, known to local people as 'Aoudads'. This species is incorrectly identified as sheep, when in fact their genes suggest they are much more closely related to wild goats!


Not really a sheep!

They stand at around a metre tall and have thick curled horns, which are much more pronounced in the males. Both males and females have long fringes of hair growing from their chest, neck and front legs.

Their tan brown coat also helps them blend in with their natural sandy surroundings out in the wild. This adaptation is useful as they are too large to hide behind the small desert rocks of their natural habitat, so instead they evade predators by standing very still when threatened


Educating The Public 

Populations of Barbary sheep have dramatically declined over recent years, due to poaching and habitat degradation. As a result, they are now listed as 'Vulnerable' by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Keepers are delighted to welcome a new species to the Park, helping to conserve this Vulnerable species and educate the public about the threats they are facing out in the wild.

Spot Them On Your Next Visit

Spot the Barbary sheep in the Giraffe Junction section of the Road Safari on your next visit!