Mouflon

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Mouflon

MouflonOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Japanese Name: ムフロン
Romanised Name: Mufuron
First Featured in: Not Featured Yet
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Ovis orientalis
Distribution: Asia
Diet: Herbivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 13 years
Read More: Mouflon
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 VU.svg.png
Mouflon

The Mouflon is a type of Friend that appeared in the Japari Bus Tour at Gunma Safari Park.

Appearance

Mouflon has large, grey-brown horns that curve behind her head. She sports two black ears on the far sides of her head, much like her species. Her hair is about breast length, light brown ending in dark brown in the middle. She has dark brown bangs, with white highlights. She has a fur collar, tied to resemble a neckerchief. She is wearing a brown and white dress with poofy, short sleeves, and buttons running down the front. She is also wearing long, white fingerless gloves, tight capris, white and black maryjanes and white socks.

In Real Life

Mouflon are wild sheep, a species regarded as one of the two original ancestors of modern-day sheep. Their coat is reddish-brown and short-haired, and a dark stripe runs along their back, with lighter colored patches on the side. They are very wary animals. The males have large horns of a sickle shape, prized by many trophy hunters. Females have horns too, but much smaller ones than those of males. The adult males develop a large ruff of coarse long hair on their chest, which is white at the throat, becoming black towards the forelegs.

Mouflon inhabit certain countries in central Asia, in the west from Turkey and Mediterranean islands, eastwards to Pakistan. In addition, they were introduced as game animals in Western Europe, U.S., Argentina and Chile. They generally occur in mountainous areas that have both desert and grasslands. In winter, mouflons migrate to lower altitudes.

Males and female mouflon live in separate groups, only coming together for the mating season. The dominance of a ram depends on his age and how big his horns are. Fights between rams about their harem of ewes rarely cause serious injuries, and the winner does not make any further attacks. The two contestants will graze alongside each other, with the winner every now and again initiating an "appeasement ceremony" where he presents his neck to be licked by the other ram, sometimes kneeling for this purpose. Mouflon usually feed early in the day as well as during the evening, and will rest during the day where they can be well hidden, under an overhanging rock or bush. The ewes usually have the better foraging areas because their health is of more importance for reproduction. Mouflon graze on grasses, but if food is scarce they will browse leaves and fruits.

Mouflon are polygynous, and rams will fight each other to achieve dominance and win the opportunity to mate with the females. Mouflon mate from autumn to early winter. Gestation lasts around 210 days, with one to three two lambs born in April. The ewe goes into cover to give birth, and the newborn is on its feet within a few minutes, and soon after birth it can run about. A lamb remains closely tied to its mother, suckling every 10 to 15 minutes. Mouflon are sexually mature after about two to three years.

Mouflon are threatened by expanding agriculture and farming, which has reduced population numbers and dispersed individuals into small, fragmented groups. Overgrazing throughout their range due to the expansion of sheep farming has resulted in erosion, reducing this species' suitable habitat. Consequently, pressure on hunting is high, which leads to a fragmented distribution. Parasites and contagious diseases from domestic livestock, especially domestic sheep, in many areas are a major threat. Poachers take adult rams for the value of their horns as trophies, and lambs are sometimes poached at birth to become pets.

Trivia

  • A mouflon was cloned successfully in early 2001 and lived at least seven months, making it the first clone of an endangered mammal to survive beyond infancy.
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