It is, to me, very fitting to have Bighorn Sheep as Colorado’s official animal and this pose is just about perfect. Just like the terrain and many of its people, these animals are very rugged, strong and tough.
This particular ram was one of several hanging out in Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver this past Monday. I missed them on my way up the canyon but on the way back they were clearly visible on the side of the canyon. All-in-all I rode over 13 miles on my bike that day, far more than what I would have needed to if I saw them on the first pass. Nevertheless, it was well worth it.
The Bighorn Sheep is found in many places in the state’s high country. Diseases from European livestock and overhunting had caused the animal’s population to drop precipitously by the early 1900s. Thankfully conservation efforts have been successful in helping the sheep rebound since then.