The Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia, also called Aoudad, Arui and Waddan (in Libya) is a species of Caprinae (goat-antelope) found in rocky mountains in North Africa. Six subspecies have been described, (see below). Although it is rare in its native North Africa, it has been introduced to North America, southern Europe and elsewhere.
This photograph is of an Aoudad, a Barbary Sheep at the Wildlife Ranch in San Antonio, TEXAS, USA.
Barbary Sheep stand 80 to 100 cm (30 to 40 inches) tall at the shoulder and weigh 40 to 140 kg (90 to 310 lb). They are a sandy-brown color, darkening with age, with a slightly lighter underbelly and a darker line on the back. Upperparts and outer legs are uniform reddish-brown or grayish-brown. There is some shaggy hair on the throat (extending down to the chest in males) and a sparse "mane". Their horns have a triangular cross section. The horns curve outwards, backwards then inwards, and reach up to 50 cm (20 inches). The horns are smooth, but wrinkled at the base.
Barbary sheep are found in northern Africa in Algeria, Tunisia, northern Chad, Egypt, Libya, northern Mali, Mauritania, Morocco (including Western Sahara), Niger and Sudan (west of Nile and east of Nile in the Red Sea Hills).
Barbary Sheep at Paignton Zoo, Devon, England. Photograph Credit: Adrian Pingstone in July 2003
Barbary sheep were introduced into southeastern Spain and southwestern United States (parts of Texas, New Mexico, California) and Mexico and in some parts of Africa.