The European mouflon is the closest relative of the domestic sheep. Scientists believe that he became the second animal that the man tamed. Ten thousand years ago, people realized that it was easier to keep a mouflon with you than to ride behind it in the mountains. This is beneficial – there is always meat, milk and wool at home. A beast with chic, like two sickles, with curved horns is the last wild ram of Europe.
European untamed mouflons are preserved only on the islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Here they are considered the treasure of forests and the pride of the locals. The government even pays compensation to farmers if mouflons have visited their sites. Eaten crops, gnawed trees and trampled fields equate to natural disasters.
Such respect for the largest mammal in the Mediterranean has gone since the time when it was almost destroyed. For a long time, hunting for mouflons was a favorite hobby of the nobility.
Mouflons were brought from the Czech Republic to the Oleniy Nature Park. There, these sheep are often found, sometimes even running from the woods to Prague. Bred them and especially for hunting, which is carried out with the same rituals and rituals. Czech animals have adapted to the Russian winter and, as laid down by nature, the mating season begins in February, when frost and snow still knee-deep. At the same time lambs grow healthy.
Muflons are sensitive and cautious animals. Just a little – they are fleeing. His run is quick and agile, “you can not see how the animals touch the ground.” Easily jump over the bushes and stones. The sheep and the lambs are grazing together. Males live in splendid isolation. They join the herd only during the period of love. In summer, the animals feed on feather grass, fescue and wheat grass.
In winter they eat thin branches of bushes and dry blades of grass that stick out from under the snow. Sometimes, biting bark. On such a meager ration in his cold without a man can not survive. Mouflons in the park are fed up.
In Soviet times, mouflons laid the foundation for mountain merino. A new breed of sheep brought Academician Mikhail Ivanov. Fine-fleeced animals are famous for the quality of their wool, extremely thin and soft.