In an ongoing quest to unearth the weirdest roofing news, last week, a bighorn sheep in Boulder Country, Colo., found itself stuck on the roof and deck of a home for more than 24 hours in what wildlife officers suspect was an unorthodox plan to find a mate.
The incident, which has since made the rounds on local Colorado TV, happened last Tuesday when a homeowner in an unincorporated part of Boulder County called the state’s Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department to report a ram on the roof of their home.
On Dec. 5, CPW spokesperson Kara Van Hoose said the ram probably climbed up there in the morning and realized he had made a ‘mistake.’
"We were hoping he would come down on his own because he's on the roof and realizes this is not a great spot for him to be," Van Hoose told the Denver Post.
The ram managed to get down to the deck of the house, but he was still trapped by the railing and unable to find a way out. Van Hoose said wildlife officers monitored the situation and hoped he would figure it out on his own, but after a day and a half, they decided to intervene.
"They cut out a portion of the deck railing to give him a clear path and he took off," Van Hoose said.
Van Hoose said the ram was healthy and uninjured — and quickly rejoined his herd in the nearby mountains. She noted that bighorn sheep are good climbers and like being up high, but they usually stick to rocky terrain and avoid human structures.
She also said the ram's behavior was likely influenced by the mating season, which runs through the end of this month. Van Hoose said during mating season, rams become more aggressive and adventurous, and they roam around looking for ewes to breed with. Surely, this particular ram must have felt randy.
"He did seem enamored with his reflection in the window, [as] a bird does," Van Hoose said, adding that because Boulder County and the city of Boulder are in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, residents are generally unfazed by the wildlife-city exchanges. Mountain lions, black bears and moose have all made themselves seen previously. And, since the bighorn sheep is the mascot of Colorado State University, also located in Boulder, it seems kind of poetic, no?
"That's one of the mysteries of bighorn sheep," Van Hoose said. "We're in mating season for sheep right now, and rams just act strange. They get really weird, their whole behavior changes and they do anything they can to find females to mate."
And, to add to the whimsy, CPW noted that while still early in December for the sound of “hooves clattering on rooftops,” CPW could neither confirm nor deny if the ram's activities were related in any way to distant cousins, including Donner, Dasher or Blitzen.
"I can't speak on behalf of Santa Claus — he has his own public information officer — but this is not how we would recommend delivering gifts for Christmas," Van Hoose said.