Ram sightings puzzle Aiea neighborhood - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ram sightings puzzle Aiea neighborhood

Nature Conservancy Communications Director who spotted the sheep on a hike Nature Conservancy Communications Director who spotted the sheep on a hike

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

AIEA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Imagine standing in your house and you see a big horned animal in your backyard.  That's actually happened in Aiea. A mouflon sheep has been spotted three times in recent weeks. 

The mysterious mouflon sheep has been visiting trails and homes near Waimalu Ridge.  Mouflon sheep aren't allowed on Oahu and as far as anyone can tell they've never been here. 

This big horned visitor hopped fences and hung out a little while on the lush green grass before making its way back into the hillside.

"People who aren't aware of it and they live in that area and they see a ram in their backyard this is what it is. It's not some creature from the moon," said Grady Timmons, Nature Conservancy Communications Director.

A week earlier Timmons was on a hike with three other men on a trail at the top of Ka'ahele Street in Aiea when they had to do a double take.

"We all kind of looked at each other like did we really see what we thought we saw because it only lasted a few seconds and he was gone into the bushes," said Timmons.

When they later saw the pictures the neighbors took it confirmed they weren't hallucinating.

"The speculation is that is escaped from somebody's yard as a pet or maybe someone brought it in and let it go with the hope it would get up into the mountains start a population so people could hunt," said Timmons.

That would be bad because according to the Nature Conservancy it's not a game animal that's good for the environment.

"It's great for hunting.  They do hunt it on the Big Island and on Lanai but it's not something you want up in your watersheds," said Timmons.  "The problem with mouflon sheep is that if you get a breeding population going they can denude the mountainside. They're grazers so they can cause erosion and sediment coming of the mountains."

They have contacted the state which is developing a plan of action. The hope is it might be easy to capture since it has been seen down in lower elevations.

It's unknown if there are anymore out there as well.  If you see it again snap a picture and send it our way.

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