The loose black ram, or herd of rams as it turns out, that trekked across Freeland for more than a week beginning Oct. 28 have been safely rounded up by their owners and returned home.
According to Island County Animal Control Officer Carol Barnes, the “small herd” was rounded up last Friday. Barnes joked she was partly glad their owner did the rounding up, since there were reports these rams could get aggressive and butt heads, even in Freeland residents’ front yards. Still, she and law enforcement worked together to locate the herd before they were eventually found by the owner.
“The bighorn sheep that are on the loose have been in my area for the past few days running down Wahl Road,” Freeland resident Susan Carlson posted on Alert Whidbey Nov. 2. “Today they were in front of my house fighting and ramming into my garage door, and when I went out to shoo them away, they came at me in an aggressive way. So I came back in the house and left them alone.”
The herd wandered from the area near the Mutiny Bay boat launch to Highway 525, causing a stir in the neighborhood and on the Alert Whidbey Facebook page. A lone ram that separated from the herd, the first one to be spotted on Oct. 28, even made its way across the Highway to Holmes Harbor.
Barnes said the owner was contacted by law enforcement Saturday, Oct. 29, but it wasn’t until this past Friday that the animals were located and rounded up.
“The owner, who was very cooperative, was able to find them and return them to his property,” Barnes said. “They were quite concerned about the rams but to my knowledge, they were all accounted for.”
The owner requested not to comment on the situation.
Barnes said the rams found a “little hole” in the property fence before escaping and going on the lam. Barnes said she heard there were also sheep spotted in the area, but she couldn’t confirm whether or not that was true.
The rams didn’t cause anybody harm, despite reportedly showing aggression to residents who attempted to shoo them away. They did cause back ups on a few roads, but nothing more.
“They didn’t pay much attention to me when I was taking their video on Wahl Road, and there were several other cars backed up watching them because they couldn’t get by them,” Carlson said. “When I went outside to shoo them away while fighting, they got a lot more aggressive and came towards me, so I left them alone ever since.”