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Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)


  • Require large enclosures with native vegetation, water source and a variety of habitat types and topographic relief.
  • Enclosure fencing at least 10 feet high and at least 2 feet underground for predator control
  • Males and females should be separated in nonbreeding season.
  • Two managed care populations of Peninsular bighorns: 1. The Bighorn Institute, formed in 1982 to investigate bighorn population decline. They established a managed care breeding program in 1985. (more than 75 animals released to wild). 2. The Living Desert Museum is maintains a small group of bighorns for educational purposes.
  • The San Diego Safari Park houses desert bighorn sheep at the Condor Ridge exhibit.
  • Also see what San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is doing to protect bighorn sheep

Do Well in Managed Care

Bighorned sheep head

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Gildart (1999)
USFWS (2000)

SDZWA Library Links