14 Valais black-nosed sheep
in search of a new home
Gut Aiderbichl has been committed to endangered animal species for many years. This also includes the Valais black-nosed sheep. For health reasons, a new home had to be found for 14 Wallis black-nosed sheep.
In spring, Dieter Ehrengruber received an email describing the group of 14 sheep with loving words. "(...) Unfortunately, we have to part with our family members for health reasons. For my husband the sheep were his exercise therapy, but his rheumatism and two broken lumbar vertebrae forbid him to lift heavy, he cannot walk for long ...". What now?
We know that behind many animal fates are also hidden human fates, this is such a case where we could help.
Questioning sheep eyes greeted our animal rescuers
There they all stood: Lulu, Leila, Curly, Kimmy, Chester, Mathilda, Prixus, Scotty, Leonie, Freya, Liska, Emilio, Loona and Leni.
The owners spoke to their charges in tear-stained voices. Tears flowed, memories came flooding back and it was incredibly difficult for the people that their sheep were now to be put on the Aiderbichl transporter to begin the journey to a new home.
The brain - heart - axis
The 14 sheep hadn't had to experience anything bad, but the poor state of health of their owners demanded that reason had to be switched on: sometimes the life situation of humans demands a change in the living conditions of their animals.
Lulu, at 10 years old the oldest of the black-nosed sheep, seemed to be reasonable and was the first to get into the transporter and the small flock followed her. The owners had wanted their flock to stay together, so that is how it should be. A sea of tears followed the animal transporter.
An endangered species
Black-nosed sheep were first mentioned in the 15th century. These beautiful animals, which we know today as black-nosed sheep, were created through various cross-breeding. In the 1930s and 1940s, there were several epidemics, including several cases of tuberculosis, which were attributed to the sheep. To contain the epidemic, large parts of the sheep population were culled.
In the 1960s, there was a liberalisation of slaughter imports and the population of Valais black-nosed sheep came under heavy pressure. Modern bred sheep breeds give 5% more meat and the stock of black-nosed sheep became smaller and smaller. Cross-breeding attempts were started again so that the black-nosed sheep would also produce more meat.
A journey with a happy ending for 14 black-nosed sheep
The small flock found its new home at Gut Aiderbichl Eslarn. Michael Meckl had already prepared a great barn and all the animals living on Michael's outdoor farm welcomed the black-nosed sheep with loud voices.
The Valais black-nosed sheep, like many other animal species, show what a magnificent artist Mother Nature is. With their wonderfully drawn faces and the great horns, the black bootee, the black spot on the tail and the black booties above the claws, the black-nosed sheep are among nature's masterpieces.
If you feel like petting a Wallis black-nosed sheep, you can do it at our encounter farm in Henndorf. A black-nosed sheep group lives here too, among them our Inspector Gadget. He is a real charmer and loves to be cuddled long and hard.