Snow Sheep

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Snow Sheep

Snow SheepOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Also known as: Siberian Bighorn Sheep
Japanese Name: ユキヒツジ
Romanised Name: Yuki Hitsuji
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Ovis nivicola
Distribution: Siberia
Diet: Herbivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 9 years
Read More: Snow sheep
Conservation Status: SmolLP.png
Snow Sheep Nexon Game

The Snow Sheep is a type of Friend that appeared in the original Kemono Friends mobile game.

Appearance

Snow Sheep's long and fluffy hair is a snow white with faint pink highlights, contrasted by her sabre-like dark gray horns, which (unlike many bovid Friends) appear to be based on the females of her species. Her gentle eyes are a grayish hazel. Two flat-laying ears of the same color protrude seamlessly from her hair, accented with musky gray tips.

Appearing to draw inspirations from the real-life animal's own winter coat, Snow Sheep wears a bundled-up beige overcoat with a matching skirt beneath, in addition to a pink scarf that complements the accents in her hair. Her coat's sleeves and edges end in tufts of wool that match her short, fleecy tail that sticks out the back. She wears thick white leggings and brown snow boots tied with vibrant pink shoelaces. As with other bovid Friends, she wields a dual-edged spear matching her horns.

In Real Life

The snow sheep is a species of wild sheep native to the frigid and sparsely populated mountains of eastern Siberia. It is closely related to the American bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), and is thereby sometimes called the Siberian bighorn sheep. A fully-grown ram of the species weighs roughly 150 kilogrammes and stands up to one metre tall, although (as with all wild sheep) males are about 25 percent larger than their female counterparts. A snow sheep's coat is a greyish brown, which becomes a light and milky colour as its wool grows out to survive the formidable Siberian winter.

Like most bovids, snow sheeps are herbivores, feeding on grass, foliage, mushrooms, and other natural features of Siberia. The sheep themselves are vulnerable to predation from gray wolves and to a lesser extent wolverines. As the conditions of winter are very severe, herds move seasonally to the southern and eastern slopes of their mountain homes to escape the strong winds and abundant snowfall. Their rutting season occurs between December and January, with births occurring six months later, just in time for the snow to melt and new vegetation to grow.

A snow sheep traverses the unforgiving Siberian landscape.

The snow sheep is considered to be "Least Concern" in terms of conservation status by the IUCN, owing to its isolated location and largely undisturbed habitat. However, poaching (and other forms of hunting) is a looming threat, and increased hunter presence would quickly cause the species' fragile numbers to decline. The snow sheep is actually divided into over half a dozen subspecies, and while some of which are numerous in population, others are limited in range, numbering in the threes of thousands. Among the identified subspecies, the Putoran, Yakutian and Okhotsk sheep are the most prosperous and numerous populations.

Trivia

  • Due to the snow sheep's striking similarities to the North American bighorn sheep, experts have proposed that it reached Siberia by way of the now-nonexistent Bering land bridge. Those sheep that remained in North America evolved into the bighorn, while those in Siberia diverged into the separate species snow sheep.

References

  1. Harris, R.B. & Tsytsulina. K. 2008. "Ovis nivicola". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008. Accessed 24 May 2018.
  2. Huffman, Brent. "Ovis nivicola". Ultimate Ungulate. Accessed 24 May 2018.
  3. Lovari, Sandro. "Snow sheep". Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed 24 May 2018.
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