(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — Often spotted in Garden of the Gods, a herd of 140-150 Bighorn Sheep roam through the Rampart Range. It’s this herd that is used to replenish other herd populations throughout the state, according to Corey Adler, the District Wildlife Manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

“Every couple of years, we’re able to come and trap some of these sheep to then transport to other locations throughout the state in hopes of building more populations of herds,” Adler said.

This specific herd, known as a ‘Seed Herd,’ will only roam a few miles from where they are born.

“The scar up above the Glenn and the Navigator is kind of their main habitat. They’ll wander down into Garden of the Gods… they’ll also go north to the Pikeview Quarry.”

In the last seven years, two relocations of these elusive creatures have brought life back to herds that have otherwise disappeared from disease. “The sheep are the prolific animal of Colorado and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. People love the sheep,” said Adler.

The herd can be spotted with tags in their ears, and others with collars, which are used to track them. “We have those tags to remember who is who. We can track the longevity of some of these sheep and get an idea of how long they can survive here,” Adler said.

Today, some of the female sheep in this herd have lifespans of up to 15 years; the typical lifespan is 10 to 12, a solid life for a herd that was formed by accident.

In the mid-1940s, the Terryall Herd was used as this herd is now, as a seed to feed into other herds. But, a truck loaded with sheep meant for the Pike’s Peak area broke down in Green Mountain Falls.

“They just decided to open up the door and when the sheep jumped out, they figured they’d go up the mountain where they like to be and instead of going south, they went north across the road and came into the Rampart Range.”