In recent days, the strange case of a group of sheep that have walked in a circle for more than 16 days without stopping. The clip was documented on a farm in China and has been around the world, due to the unusual behavior of the animals. Now a researcher at the University of Hartpury in Gloucester, England, has come out to explain why these creatures are acting this way.
The original clip was recorded by the owners of the farm, who commented that everything started with a few sheep walking in a circlebut little by little other members of the herd joined. Due to the strange behavior of their animals, the owners of the enclosure decided to contact a local television station to film the events. In the recordings captured by CCTV, you can see the sheep that follow each other without stopping.
After the clip spread on the internet, thousands of netizens have tried to discover the truth behind the strange animal behavior. Nevertheless, an agriculture professor, zoologists and veterinarians have come together to explain why these creatures walk in circles on the recording.
What do the specialists have to say?
“It seems that the sheep are penned for long periods and this could lead to stereotypical behaviorwith repeated turns due to the frustration of being in the pen and limited,” said Matt Bell, a professor at the Department of Agriculture at the University of Hartpury in Gloucester, England. The specialist added that the animals were adding to this walk as they try to imitate herd behavior. “Then the other sheep join in, since they are herd animals, and join or join their friends.”
For their part, other experts, from the British veterinary company Molecare Farm Vets, commented to local media that the exact cause of such behavior is not known, but they do not rule out that about the effects of listeriosis, a bacterial disease that could be affecting farm animals. According to specialists, this disease causes inflammation on one side of the brain, which causes the animals to end up walking in a circle or suffer paralysis.
Other zoologists argue that this mysterious walk is not so rare and this type of behavior may also be a defense instinct, since in the center of the circle are the females and their young, while the males cover the herd. This, accompanied by continuous movement, would hinder an attack.
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