Argali sheep roam NW China's Xinjiang

On October 29, about eight herds of argali sheep, made up of between three and 20 sheep, were found within a four-kilometer range in the Tianshan Mountain area, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The argali sheep is the largest species of wild sheep. 

The argali sheep is under second-class state protection in China. It has a light brown coat and white legs, with a white rump patch. Both sexes have horns, but those of males are much bigger. Male sheep also have a ring of white hair around its neck and a distinctive crest along the back. 

In the wild, they live up to 13 years. 

The herds of the argali sheep are segregated by gender except during the mating season. The argali sheep rarely use their horns in defense against predators. They use avoidance and speedy flight instead, as their primary strategy is to avoid the threat of predators. 

(Cover image via VCG)

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